The M83A2 SADAR (Shoulder-Launched Active-Homing Disposable Anti-Tank Rocket) is the premier infantry anti-armor weapon available to United States Colonial Marine Corps. It can lock on to most targets and seek them unerringly, making it a devastating weapon when repeatedly fired from a protected position.
The M83A2 SADAR is a lightweight one-shot anti-armor weapon capable of engaging enemy vehicles at ranges up to 1,000m. Fully disposable, the rocket's launcher is discarded after firing, whilst the rocket, a fire-and-forget weapon, guides itself toward the target. When stowed, the SADAR system consists of a watertight carbon-fiber composite blast tube, inside of which is an aluminum launch tube containing the missile and guidance electronics. The weapon is cocked by unlatching the forward ring of the blast tube and pulling the inner launch tube forwards until it locks. A trigger assembly and thermal acquisition sight are then flipped into position. The weapon activated by pushing a charge button on the trigger grip. From this point the weapon can be sighted and fired from the shoulder.
When launched, the SADAR rocket accelerates to maximum velocity. As the rocket approaches the target, the guidance system selects the hottest part of the target (on a tank, usually the weakly protected engine deck) and flies an attack profile that offers optimum penetration. Against a tank, the projectile will typically climb briefly before diving on the target's thinner upper surfaces. The shaped-charge High Explosive Armor Piercing warhead is capable of defeating most light and medium armor.
Since the SADAR is an open-chambered weapon, operators must allow for backblast. The rear of the blast tube is packed with small plastic slivers which fire backward on launch of the rocket and absorb much of this backblast; nonetheless, a cleared backblast zone of 10 meters behind the weapon is recommended, and care should be taken when launching the rocket from confined spaces.
The SADAR may also be fired unguided like a traditional direct fire RPG, using a backup reticle sight to aim. This is commonly done in the field against objects like bunkers, pillboxes, crew-served weapons, supply dumps and communications centers — all of which do not give off a characteristic thermal signature. Though the rocket still has a maximum range of about 1,000m against these targets, unguided aiming is not accurate beyond 200m.
The M83 acquires and tracks targets with a cooled infrared imaging seeker mounted in the rocket's nose. When the charge button is pressed, the inert IR seeker is cooled to its operating temperature within two seconds and begins feeding images to the operator's thermal acquisition sight. The seeker remains charged for twenty minutes, after which the rocket may only be fired unguided. When a target (such as a vehicle) enters the acquisition sight, the operator can lock the seeker onto the target. So long as the target image remains clearly within the seeker's field of view, the weapon can be launched at it.
An improved version, capable of identifying defensive countermeasures such as decoy flares and possessing improved logic programming to aid in rejecting these dummy targets.
M83AM SADAR AMAGEdit
Once it became clear that individually armored tank crews could survive a SADAR hit, the USCM redesigned the weapon to ensure destruction of both tank and crew. The result is the SADAR AMAG (Aerosol MAGnesium), a large four-tubed weapon that penetrates heavy armor and discharges multiple megathermal payloads in its interior with a four-rocket salvo. Naturally, it works quite well against Predators and Aliens, since it delivers a high impact detonation that exposes numerous targets to blast furnace temperatures.
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (First Appearance)
- Aliens versus Predator (video game)
- Aliens versus Predator: Extinction