The M202 FLASH (Flame Assault SHoulder Weapon) is an American rocket launcher, designed to replace the WWII-vintage flamethrowers that remained the military's standard incendiary devices well into the 1960s. The M202 is based on the prototype XM191 napalm rocket launcher that saw extensive testing in the Vietnam War.
The M202A1 features four tubes that can load 66mm incendiary rockets. The M74 rockets are equipped with M235 warheads, containing approximately 1.34 lbs of an incendiary agent. The substance, often mistaken for napalm, is in fact TPA (thickened pyrophoric agent).
As the caliber is shared with the contemporary M72 LAW antitank rocket launcher, it would have been theoretically possible to fire HEAT anti-tank rockets in lieu of the incendiary payload; the XM191 prototype was capable of this. No such round was developed for the M202.
The weapon is meant to be fired from the right shoulder, and can be fired from either a standing, crouching, or prone position. It has a trigger mode to facilitate firing all four rockets at once, not just one at a time. After firing, it can be reloaded with a clip housing four rockets.
The M202A1 was rated as having a 50% of hit against the following targets at the noted ranges, assuming all four rockets were fired at the same time:
- Bunker aperture: 50m
- Window: 125m
- Weapons position or stationary vehicle: 200m
- Squad sized troop formation: 500m