posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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.