Ardec initiated the project followed a request from US Forces in Korea in 1999 for a round that could be used against dismounted ATGW
Lightweight western ATGWs
include the 45.4/48.2-kg laser-homing Lockheed Martin Hellfire II, the 23-kg wire-guided Raytheon Tow-2B Aero, the 24-kg wire-guided MBDA Hot 3 and the 49-kg MBDA Pars-3 LR with imaging-infrared guidance.
Modern warhead technology allows a main battle tank to be disabled by a relatively light ATGW, but a more general tactical target set demands a heavier warhead and consequently a larger missile.
In replacing ATGWs initially designed for a Central European war, the wider market demand is for longer range coupled with a reduced flight time (i.e., supersonic cruise) and a lock-on-after-launch facility.
One variation, the RWS-J, sees the RWS-US fitted with a Javelin ATGW
as well as the gun.
The 2T weapon system includes a 30 mm automatic cannon with a 7.62 co-axial machinegun, two retractable missile launchers (2 ATGW
or 2 Sam on each) and a 30 mm automatic grenade launcher.
The 9M120 Ataka-V (AT-12 Swinger) ATGW
has been added to the armament.
During the 1980s the missile-armed helicopter has become a much more serious threat to armoured vehicles, due to improvements in ATGW
and sighting equipment.