Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

M202 FLASH (FLame Assault SHoulder Weapon)

Four-Shot, Shoulder-Fired Incendiary Rocket Launcher [ 1978 ]

The M202 FLASH was developed to replace the line of flamethrowers in service with the United States Army.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/22/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Introduced in the late-1970s, the M202 FLASH ("FLame Assault SHoulder Weapon") is a shoulder-fired, multi-shot rocket launcher intended for incendiary projectiles - essentially a "rocket launcher flamethrower". The weapon has roots in the Vietnam War-era, developmental "XM191" napalm launcher and carries a four-shot tube (2x2) arrangement housing 4 x 66mm M74 Incendiary TPA-filled (triethylaluminum) projectiles. The role of the M202 is similar to that of a flamethrower but improves on range and therefore reduces the firer's exposure some.

As a complete system, the M202 sports a boxy shape. A pistol grip and trigger unit is set under the forward end of the weapon with a fold-down padded arm set aft. A foregrip is present under the muzzle end of the launcher component. Optics (reflex sighting device) are integrated along the left side of the launcher. Effective range is out to 22 yards with a maximum listed range of 820 yards (point accuracy is decidedly reduced over range). The rockets are fed through a four-shot clip which, once installed, can be fired singly or as a group. Overall weight of the launcher component is 11.5lb and, when loaded, this increases to 26.5lb. Overall length is 34.75" though the system can collapse for travel, bringing the transport length down to 27".

The M202 has never made a large imprint in the American military inventory and its usefulness was reduced even more with the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. The rockets did not always prove reliable for the role and the awkward size and shape of the M202 launcher made it unappealing for the standard infantryman - who still had to carry his normal war gear into battle. Some modern elements of the United States military still rely on the weapon as has been the case in Afghanistan where it has proven useful against exposed enemy infantry, soft-skinned vehicles, and soft fortifications. The South Korean Army is also listed as an operator of the M202.

The rocket launcher flamethrower concept also emerged, in varying forms throughout the years, from the former Soviet Union and China.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States


Four-Shot, Shoulder-Fired Incendiary Rocket Launcher

National flag of South Korea National flag of the United States South Korea; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)

Overall Length
883 mm
34.76 in
Barrel Length
686 mm
27.01 in
Empty Wgt
26.61 lb
12.07 kg

Included Optics



(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)



Sample Visuals**

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

Four-Shot; Reusable Launcher
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
66 ft
(20 m | 22 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
375 ft/sec
(114 m/sec)

M202 FLASH - Base Series Name
M202A1 - Base series designation

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image from the Public Domain.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-