The M240A1 is a lightweight, carbine-styled flamethrower designed for use on the squad and fireteam level. It uses a pressurized, ultra-thick napalm-like fuel which is ignited by a nozzle burner and can engage targets up to 30 meters distant. Once a target has been hit, the napalm stick and continue to burn for almost 30 seconds. There is enough fuel in a standard tank for 20 seconds of continuous use. It is ideal for use in close-combat and xenomorph “population reduction” as well as for disabling structures and fortifications. The napalm stream is sufficiently thick and narrow enough to penetrate defensive openings such as vision slits. The flamer is unpopular with troops because of it's short range and tendency to explode when hit by shrapnel or small arms fire.
The M240 is nearly 90cm long and weighs more than 2.5 kg with a full fuel tank. The tank can be refilled via a valve at the back of the weapon or the tank can be swapped out. A twist valve regulates the fuel flow and a switch on the hand grip ignites the nozzle burner. The effective range can be extended by aiming the fire stream upwards; at 45° the range is approximately 50 meters.
An alternative method of use is the so-called “wet shot”, wherein the nozzle burner is shut off and the fuel stream is directed towards the target where it mists as it reaches the range limit. When the nozzle burner is switched back on, a follow-up shot will ignite the mist creating a large fireball. Another option is a blind shot, useful in house-to-house fighting and other close-combat areas. The thickened fuel can “bounce” off hard objects to redirect the stream, allowing skilled operators to “shoot” around a corner.