The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) has received approval to procure additional M72 MK2 Enhanced Capability Lightweight Anti-Tank Weapons for 58 million euros ($56 million).
Finnish defense minister Antti Kaikkonen announced the acquisition approval amid the country’s push to become a member of NATO.
The unspecified number of additional anti-tank weapons will be procured from local defense firm Nammo Lapua and financed through Finland’s supplementary budget.
According to Kaikkonen, the acquisition will help bolster the anti-tank capability of the FDF, especially as Finland continues to modernize its military for evolving threats.
The deal would also help supplement the nation’s defense equipment stocks and boost its domestic defense equipment industry and employment sector.
Initial deliveries are expected next year.
In 2020, the Finnish Ministry of Defence also authorized the Defence Forces Logistics Command to procure the anti-tank weapon system for 26 million euros ($25 million).
Features and Capabilities
Locally designated as “66 KES 12,” the M72 MK2 is reportedly the most common anti-tank weapon in the Finnish Army.
It is a shoulder-fired, single-shot weapon with an on-axis trigger and rail for mounting night vision or laser sights.
The 66 KES 12 has significantly enhanced penetration and usability features compared to its predecessor.
Additionally, the weapon has reduced backblast so it can be fired more safely from within structures.
“The light single shot is the basic weapon of every fighter, with excellent performance against lightly armored targets,” infantry inspector colonel Juhana Skyttä said.
“The gun is easy to use, reliable, and well suited to Finnish conditions. It is also compatible with the fighter’s equipment and new stealth tools.”