The M72 is a light, anti-armour weapon that can be used by a single soldier to destroy enemy combat vehicles and fortifications. The 66-mm warhead can penetrate up to 350 mm of armour. The unit is light and compact and can easily be carried by an individual soldier. When required, the user extends the telescopic tube, which automatically cocks the launcher and raises the sight. The user places the tube on his shoulder, aims, and squeezes the trigger to discharge the rocket to a range of up to 350m. The maximum effective range is about 220m against moving targets and 300m against stationary targets.
Although primarily designed for the defeat of light armour, the weapon retains a moderate capability against older tanks when engaging them at the sides or rear.
The tactical round consists of a free-flight rocket in a disposable telescopic launcher. Each rocket consists of three major assemblies: a 66mm high explosive warhead; a Point-Initiating, Base Detonating (PIBD) fuse and an improved rocket motor. Attached to the motor case are eight spring-loaded fins which are folded forward to lie alongside the rocket motor whilst in the launcher. Upon ignition of the rocket, gas pressure propels the rocket from the launcher and the fins spring out to stabilize flight.