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  • David Connolly

Why Schwarzenegger’s Quad-Tube Rocket Launcher Replaced the Flamethrower



Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1985 action classic Commando cemented the former Mr. Olympia as a bona fide action hero. The entire movie is full of glorious ’80s cheese, but it’s the infamous “mansion shootout” that lives rent-free in the minds of most Gen Xers. In it, John Matrix (Schwarzenegger) uses a four-tubed, shoulder-fired rocket launcher against scores of enemy soldiers.


Matrix sends his first rocket careening into a jeep full of hip-firing bad guys, then wastes no time blasting a second rocket into a gate — creating a Predator-sized hole for a hasty escape. As made clear in the movie, the M202 and M202A1 Flame Assault Shoulder Weapons (FLASHs) aren’t your average rocket launchers. In fact, the iconic weapon was actually created to replace flamethrowers.


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