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WASP 58


Shoulder-Fired, Man-Portable Rocket Launcher (1987)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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The WASP 58 Recoilless Rocket Launcher was introduced with French forces and some allies in the latter part of the 1980s.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/10/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The WASP 58 was a private venture product of Luchaire SA of France which sought to offer a cost-effective alternative to contemporary shoulder-fired anti-tank launchers emerging from the 1970s and 1980s, these themselves attempting to unseat the popular and effective 1960s-era M72 LAW system. The WASP 58 managed success with nearly half-a-million units sold and local production granted in countries such as Greece. The weapon remains in circulation today (2014) and has seen combat service with French special forces elements among others.

The WASP 58 relies on a recoilless action which allows a light launch tube to be used. Propellant gasses are allowed to escape from the rear of the tube while the rocket projectile makes its way out of the muzzle - the result being far less recoil forces at work against the weapon and operator. Luchaire, therefore, created a useful product that was both low-cost and lightweight. Padding was added at both ends of the launch tube and at other support points along the weapon for some comfort with aiming-engagement optics being integrated into its design. Caliber was just 58mm with the projectile being a 615g HEAT anti-armor warhead rocket - capable of defeating both armor (400mm) or concrete faces (800mm) at range in addition to allowing the weapon to be fired from confined spaces.

Time has begun to limit the value of the WASP 58 on the modern battlefield for its penetration value is lessened against more modern combat tanks but can still fulfill its intended role against older tanks/armored vehicles and fortified structures.

The Luchaire SA brand now falls under the Nexter name.

Specifications



Service Year
1987

Origin
France national flag graphic
France

Classification


Shoulder-Fired, Man-Portable Rocket Launcher


Luchaire SA (Nexter) - France
National flag of Belgium National flag of Denmark National flag of France National flag of Greece National flag of the Netherlands Belgium; Denmark; France; Greece; Netherlands
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Armor / Anti-Tank / Anti-Material
Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.


Overall Length
800 mm
31.50 in
Barrel Length
800 mm
31.50 in
Empty Wgt
6.61 lb
3.00 kg
Sights


Integrated Optics.


Action


Single-Shot

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


58mm

Sample Visuals**


Graphical image of a shoulder-fired rocket projectile
Rounds / Feed


Single-Shot
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
1,300 ft
(396 m | 433 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
3
rds/min
Muzzle Velocity
820 ft/sec
(250 m/sec)


WASP 58 - Base Series Designation.


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