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RPG-7

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Iraq_RPG1.jpg
An Iraqi insurgent using an RPG

The RPG-7 is a widely-produced and used rocket propelled grenade launcher designed by the Soviet Union.

Contents

Development

The RPG-7 (Ruchnoy Protivotankoviy Granatomet-7), and its predecessor the RPG-2, are man-portable, shoulder-launched rocket propelled grenade weapons. Its robustness, simplicity, low cost and effectiveness have made it the most widely used RPG in the world. Currently around forty countries use the weapon and it is manufacturered in a number of variants by nine countries. It is also popular with irregular and guerilla forces, including terrorist organizations. Numerous recent conflicts with such forces have seen extensive use of the RPG-7, including Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The RPG-7 was first delivered to the Soviet Army in 1961 and deployed at a squad level. It replaced the RPG-3, having clearly out-performed the intermediate RPG-4 design during testing. Its original design concept originated with Bazooka. The current model produced by Russia is the RPG-7V1, capable of firing standard, dual, and thermobaric warheads.

Description

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Iraq_RPG2.jpg
Iraqi insurgents carrying RPGs

The launcher is based around a simple milled steel tube, 40 mm in diameter, 95.3 cm long, and weighing just 7 kg. The middle is wood wrapped to protect the user from heat and the end is flared to assist in blast shielding and recoil reduction. Sighting is usually optical, but both passive infra-red and night-sights are available and an iron sight is always fitted.

As with similar weapons the grenade is over-sized (70 - 85 mm), protruding ahead of the launch tube, and weighing between 2.5 and 4.5 kg. Launch is by a gunpowder booster charge at 115 m/s, which creates a typical tell-tale cloud of light grey/blue smoke. The rocket motor ignites after 10 metres and sustains flight out to 500 metres at a maximum velocity of 295 m/s. The grenade is stablized by two sets of fins that deploy in-flight - one large set on the stablizer pipe to maintain direction and a smaller front set to induce rotation. Maximum range is between 900 and 1100 metres, the fuse sets the maximum range, usually 920 m. The timed detonation has been used to create rough proximity airbursts against helicopters once they have passed the preferred 100 m head-on attack zone.

Accurate firing is difficult over 300 m and with the RPG-7 the phrase "the closer the better" is always true. During the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan the Mujahideen tended to use the weapon at ranges of less than 80 m.

Ammunition

The RPG-7 can fire a variety of warheads for anti-armour (HEAT, PG-) or anti-personnel (HE, OG-) purposes, usually fitting with an impact (PIBD) and a 4.5 second fuze. Armour penetration is warhead dependent and ranges from 30 to 60 cm of homogenous steel; two warhead types (PG-7BR and VR) are 'tandem' devices, used to defeat reactive armour with a single shot.

Current production ammunition for the RPG-7V1 consists of three types:

  • PG-7VL standard HEAT warhead for most vehicle and fortication targets
  • PG-7VR dual HEAT warhead for defeating modern heavily armored vehicles
  • TBG-7V thermobaric warhead for anti-personnel and urban warfare

Specifications

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Rpg-7.jpg

Manufacturer specifications for the RPG-7V1 provided by Rosoboronexport.

  • Calibre: 40 mm (1.57")
  • Weight: 7 kg (15 lb)
  • Length: 95 cm (37")
  • PG-7VL:
    • Warhead: Single-stage high explosive anti-tank
    • Round weight: 2.6 kg (5.7 lb)
    • Diameter: 93 mm (3.65")
    • Penetration: 60 cm RHA (24")
  • PG-7VR:
    • Warhead: Tandem high explosive anti-tank
    • Round weight: 4.5 kg (9.9 lb)
    • Diameter: 10.5 cm (4.1")
    • Penetration: 75 cm RHA after reactive armor (30")
  • TBG-7V:
    • Warhead: Single-stage thermobaric
    • Round weight: 4.5 kg (9.9 lb)
    • Diameter: 10.5 cm (4.1")
    • Kill radius: 8 m (26 ft)

See also

External link

ja:RPG-7 pl:Granatnik RPG-7

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