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Russian Anti-Tank/Anti-Infantry RPGs

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posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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I've been doing some research on Russian anti-tank weapons. We've all heard plenty of stories about how Abrams tanks in Iraq (and Challangers) shrug off RPG hits like it's nothing, or even have them bounce off. Also we hear frequently about how some poor guys get killed by them in Iraq.

So are RPGs any good against heavy armor, or just infantry? What different kinds of RPGs are there?

RPG - Ruchnaya Protevotankovaya Granata, or hand-held anti-tank grenade.


RPG-2

Caliber: 40 mm barrel; 82mm warhead
Type: recoilless
Overall length: 650 mm
Weight: 2.83 kg empty; 4.67 kg loaded with grenade
Effective range: 100-150 meters
Armour penetration: 200 mm RHA.

Adopted by the Soviet military in 1949. Has a PG-2 HEAT warhead. The first of the "RPG-#". Saw alot of action in Vietnam and plenty in the mid-east. Although it can be fire by one man, standard crew is two men; a grenadier with the RPG and three extra rounds, and an assistant with an assault rifle and three extra rounds. I would imagine these are available to insurgents in Iraq. This weapon has been replaced in the Soviet military in the 1960s by the RPG-7.

RPG-7

Caliber: 40 mm launcher; 40 and 70 - 105mm warheads (depending on the grenade model)
Type: recoilless launch + rocket booster
Overall length: 650 mm
Weight: 6.3 kg unloaded, with PGO-7 telescope sight
Effective range: 200-500 meters, depending on the grenade type

Adopted in 1961, the RPG-7 is still widely in service with the Russian forces and no less then fifty other countries around the world. This particular RPG has had many different kinds of warheads developed for it.
RPG-7V antitank grenade launcher with PGO-7 telescope sight and a PG-7V grenade in ready to load condition (with launch charge attached) was the first one developed. Later a version of it for the airborne (VDV) was made called the RPG-7D, which can be disassembled in order to become more compact.

Here are the different kinds of warheads for the RPG-7:
*PG-7V*(HEAT grenade)
The very first model developed (1961). It is an 85mm warhead. Weights 2.2kg, has an effective range of 500m, and can knock through 260mm of RHA.
*PG-7VL*(HEAT grenade)
A further upgrade made in 1977. This is a 93mm warhead that weights 2.6kg. The range is 500m. It can penetrate 500mm of RHA or 1.5m of brick wall.
*PG-7VR*(Tandem HEAT grenade)
Developed in 1988. Has 64/105mm dual-warhead that weights 4.5kg. The design was intended against most modern tanks. While the effective range is 200m, the warhead can blast through ERA+600-700mm of armor.
*TBG-7V*(Thermobaric (FAE) grenade)
Also developed in 1988, this is a 4.5kg, 105mm warhead. Like with the PG-7VR, the weight of this warhead decreases it's range to 200m. This weapon doesn't have any armor penetrating capabilities since it is an FAE (Fuel Air Explosive), and is designed against infantry.
*OG-7V*(HE-FRAG grenade)
Developed in Russia in 1999. 40mm warhead, 2kg. This is a fragmentation antipersonnel grenade with a range of 350m.

RPG-16

Caliber: 58 mm warhead (same as barrel)
Type: recoilless launch + rocket booster
Overall length: 1104 mm ready to fire; 645 mm disassembled for carry / airdrop
Weight: 10.3 kg unloaded, with optical sight and bipod; 12.4 kg loaded and ready to fire
Effective range: up to 800 m
Armour penetration: 300 mm

Designed for the Soviet airborne in late 1960s and adopted in 1970. The purpose of this RPG is to knock out fortified positions (buildings/bunkers) from long range. The RPG-16 fires a PG-16 HEAT. Unlike the PG-2 and PG-7 grenades, the PG-16 warhead has the same caliber as the barrel allowing it to fit entirely inside the launcher and thus increasing accuracy.
RPG-16 has an integral iron sights, but usually is issued with 2.7X magnification telescope sight, designated PGO-16. The standard crew for RPG-16 is two men: the grenadier, who carries the launcher and two rounds, and assistant, who carries three more rounds. The RPG-16 is still in use with the Russian airborne today.

RPG-18

Caliber: 64mm
Weight: 1.4 kg unarmed, 2.6 kg ready to fire
Range: 200m
Armour penetration: 375mm RHA
Fires a PG-18 HEAT grenade. This weapon is very similar in appearances and functionality to the United States' LAW. Performance becomes significantly diminished when the RPG-18 is employed against targets protected by ERA. It is a disposable RPG, and is widely in use amongst the mechanized troops in the Russian military.

RPG-29

Caliber: 105 mm barrel; 65/105mm warheads
Type: rocket booster
Overall length: 1850 mm ready to fire; 1000 mm disassembled for transportation
Weight: 12.1 kg unloaded, with optical sight; 18.8 kg loaded and ready to fire
Effective range: up to 500 m
Armour penetration: ERA + more than 600 mm RHA

RPG-29 grenade launcher has been adopted by Soviet army in 1989, and it is intended to defeat most modern tanks, fitted with ERA protection. Unlike previous RPG-series launchers, the RPG-29 is a breech-loading weapon, with large caliber barrel, made from two quick-detachable parts, front and rear. When used against buildings or entrenchments, the PG-29V can penetrate more than 1,5 meter (5ft) of concrete or brick wall and then cause significant damage to troops beyond the wall. Unlike previous designs, PG-29 grenade has no separate RCL-type launch charge. The rocket engine starts immediately as the trigger is pressed, and burns out completely before the grenade leaves the launcher. The rest of the flight is made under inertia. The warhead is similar in design to the PG-7VR warhead, developed for RPG-7V grenade launcher, but, thanks to the much more powerful rocket engine, the RPG-29/PG-29 combination has effective range about two times longer, than the RPG-7V/PG-7VR combination. The cost of this significant increase in combat performance is much bigger weight and bulk of both RPG-29 launcher and PG-29 grenade.




posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:06 PM
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I have found some interesting stories about the RPG-29 in particular.

RPG-29 against Merkavas

At the beginning of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, the main Israeli concern was a report that Hezbollah possessed Russian Kornet antitank missiles. However, it has been the RPG-29 that is stolen the show. These man-portable lightweight weapons are powerful enough to destroy the Merkava tank, which is reputed to be the most thoroughly armored tank in the world. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Hezbollah acquired significant numbers of the RPG-29 from Syria, and the weapon has been a major source of Israeli casualties in the conflict.


Here's a link to a pick of a Merkava turret after being hit by an RPG-29


Here's a link describing the latest RShG-1 Russian Thermobaric Grenade
RShG-1


Thermobaric weapons contain slow-burning explosive slurries that keep their explosive impulses on a target longer. Their burning plasma clouds can penetrate even the smallest cracks, and when the slurry is completely consumed, the resulting vacuum causes a massive backblast that crushes everything in the area. These weapons can be extremely dangerous to armored vehicles, as they penetrate engine compartments or vents.


Oh and can anyone confirm this? (from the link above)

Bazalt Research and Production Center believes that the RShG-l has no competitors on the global arms market and, with its excellent sales prospects, may be a weapon U.S. forces must face in the future.


*Links to info in the post above*
Link
Link



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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It really depends who's using the RPG and how they're applying it. As a grenade, it has a good Anti-personnel effect.

Tanks can definitely bounce off the warheads if the person using the RPG doesn't know where to aim or if they miss the right spot. Some tanks have canted armor panels and it's not unheard of for a warhead to bounce off of the armor when it hits at an angle.

In WWII, some Tiger and Panzer tanks had canted armor and were very effective at bouncing off enemy tank rounds and bazooka warheads.

But for a militant group with low resources, an RPG can prove to be the best cheapest alternative to any other Anti-personnel weapon which is probably why they're used so widely all over the world. They're like the AK-47, cheap, durable, easy to get a hold of.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies

But for a militant group with low resources, an RPG can prove to be the best cheapest alternative to any other Anti-personnel weapon which is probably why they're used so widely all over the world. They're like the AK-47, cheap, durable, easy to get a hold of.

Shattered OUT...


A big part of the reason the reloadable RPGs are so popular with militant groups (RPG-7 in particular) is because this is a weapon designed for regular infantry squads. One or two people can carry plenty of ammo for the launcher. That is far more comfortable and less tiring then having to carry 6 LAWs or something. On the flip side the reloadable RPGs are not the best choice for mechanized infantry cause they take up space. Great thing about being able to reload though is being able to carry a variety of warheads as well.


Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
It really depends who's using the RPG and how they're applying it.


I totaly agree.

Regards,
Maestro



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 08:16 PM
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The lighter side of RPG's







[edit on 2-4-2008 by Shere Khaan]



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 08:22 PM
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RPG's have recoil? I was under the impression they were self-propelled.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
RPG's have recoil? I was under the impression they were self-propelled.

Shattered OUT...


Some RPG warheads have rocket boosters. These ignite once the rocket is a safe distance away from the gunner - about 20 meters away. In the RPG-16 the booster ignites while the rocket is still in the tube, and burns out befor the rocket leaves the tube. The rest of the flight is all on inertia. Recoil comes from the back blast. That back blast can reach out to 20 meters from behind the tube. You can imagine you'll feel a bit of "turbulance" from the weapon.

Regards,
Maestro



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by ShatteredSkies
 


There are no recoilles weapons. For example APILAS at-rocket doesn't push you back, but firing it feels like someone slapping your face with a shovel..


LAW 66 is pretty easy, but you still feel the blast pretty well, especially if you're standing up.


Chezens (and FARC) have developed a nice way of using RPG-7s as makeshift artillery. They will the hollow in the HEAT warhead with TNT to improve the anti personel effect. Some have even ductaped tnt bags into the warhead. They are really versatile weapons.

And RPG-7 is still effecive if the gunner knows how to use it.



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by maestro46

Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
RPG's have recoil? I was under the impression they were self-propelled.

Shattered OUT...


Some RPG warheads have rocket boosters. These ignite once the rocket is a safe distance away from the gunner - about 20 meters away. ...


All RPGs have rocket motors, hence the western transcription of RPG is "rocket-propelled grenade". A human would not be able to handle the instantanious recoil if the warheads weighing several kilos were fired like a rifle, with a traditional firearm propellant, within an enclosed launch tube. Rockets spread the huge inertia needed to propel the grenade over several milliseconds which is a long time in physical terms.

Thats also why the tubes don´t explode from an instantaneous pressure buildup. The tubes are either open-ended which requires a large safety zone behind the weapon, or you´re gonna fry; or they have recoil-dampening systems which enables the weapon to be fired from enclosed spaces. An example would be the modern german Panzerfaust 3 which incorporates a lump of plastic granulate to dissolve the rocket backblast. In some war films you can see how the assistant gunner lays his hand on the shoulder of the actual gunner to indicate he´s in a safe-from-backblast position.

The weapon in the 3rd video above is either not meant to be hand-fired at all, or its "hole in the back" is clogged up in some way transferring the rocket backblast momentum to the whole tube.

The "safe-distance" rocket motors you speak of are usually found in guided missiles only; a precharge pushes them from the tube, and THEN the motor ignites - hence they are missiles, not grenade projectiles. Look for videos of MILAN or Javelin ATGMs and watch the launch sequence, you´ll see what I mean.



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by Lonestar24
 


RPG-7 has a precharge and the main motor ignites after the rocket has left the launcher, thus it has very small back blast. But it's still enough to throw a chezen from 3rd story window



posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by Lonestar24
The "safe-distance" rocket motors you speak of are usually found in guided missiles only; a precharge pushes them from the tube, and THEN the motor ignites - hence they are missiles, not grenade projectiles. Look for videos of MILAN or Javelin ATGMs and watch the launch sequence, you´ll see what I mean.


Here's a sample of the precharge then the motor igniting (this is a javelin)



[edit on 3-4-2008 by Shere Khaan]



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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Well,that's right - anyone not knowing HOW to hit the target and WHERE to aim (sides and rear of the tanks are mostly not so well armored)can only leave your position exposed to the tank you just wanted to destroy(sensor equipement in the tank)...the only chance to destroy todays tanks is to place ambushes on it (if you're attacking with infantry AT weapons)and wait for the shot...also you'll need to deal with the enemy infantry accompanying the tank,so you should wait for the tank to get it's side exposed and attack the force coming in at the same moment if possible ....Considering the ERA and armored sheeting being placed onto the tanks,tandem-charges are a weapon of choice(RPG-29 fires a tandem-charge,and RPG-7VR of RPG-7 is also the ammo of the same type...Any real army,and well equipped one can take on any tank on the battlefield today!therefore,even the mightiest giants have their limitations...And one more thing,you said that it's better to have 1-2 RPG-7's in your platoon since the ammunition is easier to carry,I disagree with it,here in Bosnia,during the 1992-1995 war,it was a common practice for infantrymen when going into battle to equip a M80 (Yugoslav version of the American M72 LAW which had an extended barrel,and a more powerful charge than the M72)if the logistics could manage it...every assaulting trooper would use a M80 asides the AK...So at least 50/120 men would carry the M80 AT weapon on their backs----so---- that's 50 rockets in total...better than to carry 4 RPG rounds,right?...That's one advantage IF it's possible to accomplish the supply demand for the given mission...



posted on Oct, 8 2008 @ 01:18 AM
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The primary threat the RPG 7 poses to the tank is the mobility kill, or M-kill. This is where the tracks of the vehicle are damaged beyong use which forces the tank to stop. This allows attacks from dedicated anti-armour systems which may take time to set up. It also forces other vehicles or infantry into a killing zone to rescue the crew and vehicle. This can stall an advance or even halt it if the contact is in an urban environment. A 62 ton road block is pretty hard to get past. This tactic has been employed in current operational theatres, and is often the cause of the "hit by 40 RPGs" stories you hear about. The tank has been stopped and the enemy start hitting it from all angles with more RPGs. The vehicle is still able to use its weapon systems though.

Weapons like the RPG 29 are really unproven against modern Western tanks. The stats are there and they can supposedly get through modern armour systems. However this is only using armour stats available in the public domain, and I can tell you now that the stats for the current Chally 2 armour are classified and not available for public scrutiny (for obvious reasons).



posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 09:29 PM
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Update: Russians have made several new RPGS like RPG-28 which uses thermobaric warhead, RPG-32 Hashim, a joint project with Jordan, which is a multi-caliber RPG, and upgrade for the RPG-7, a tandem warhead to defeat modern tank armor.



posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by PaddyInf
Weapons like the RPG 29 are really unproven against modern Western tanks. The stats are there and they can supposedly get through modern armour systems. However this is only using armour stats available in the public domain, and I can tell you now that the stats for the current Chally 2 armour are classified and not available for public scrutiny (for obvious reasons).


Did you miss my 2nd post from the top about what the RPG-29 did to those Merkavas? Or do you not consider that as proof of it's abilities against modern tanks? Merkavas are not exactly "western" tanks judging by Israels location, but they are certainly modern. Whatever your opinion might be about these tanks compared to British or American tanks, if they are indeed worse armored then not by too much, don't you think?

Regards,
Maestro



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:02 AM
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Originally posted by maestro46

Originally posted by PaddyInf
Weapons like the RPG 29 are really unproven against modern Western tanks. The stats are there and they can supposedly get through modern armour systems. However this is only using armour stats available in the public domain, and I can tell you now that the stats for the current Chally 2 armour are classified and not available for public scrutiny (for obvious reasons).


Or do you not consider that as proof of it's abilities against modern tanks? Merkavas are not exactly "western" tanks judging by Israels location, but they are certainly modern. Whatever your opinion might be about these tanks compared to British or American tanks, if they are indeed worse armored then not by too much, don't you think?


I have put in bold the main pertinent parts of the quote you cite. The weapon has not been tested against the most recent developments in western tank armour. This means that it is unproven. Chally 2, M1 etc all use different armour. Just because the weapon can penetrate that of the Merkava does not prove that it can penetrate a Chally. This doesn't mean that it can't, just that it hasn't been proven to. For example the Merkava doesn't utilise WRAP 2 armour in conjunction with base armour as the Chally does.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:48 AM
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The chally hit in Basra which blew the drivers foot off.

now - im sure that was a -29 , although some people think it was a -7VR tandem charge HEAT warhead



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by PaddyInf
I have put in bold the main pertinent parts of the quote you cite. The weapon has not been tested against the most recent developments in western tank armour. This means that it is unproven. Chally 2, M1 etc all use different armour. Just because the weapon can penetrate that of the Merkava does not prove that it can penetrate a Chally. This doesn't mean that it can't, just that it hasn't been proven to. For example the Merkava doesn't utilise WRAP 2 armour in conjunction with base armour as the Chally does.


Fair enough, and I agree with you. The fact that it can penetrate the Merkava does not prove that it can penetrate a Chally for sure. However when speaking about the threat it posses to tanks it has not yet been fired at, I think it would be only fair to say that the threat is real for sure.

Regards,
Maestro

[edit on 13-10-2008 by maestro46]



posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 02:59 AM
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While the RPG was designed to kill tanks and other combat vehicles, it has brought down a number of helicopters as well. During the fighting in Mogadishu, Somalia in October 1994, the two US Army Blackhawk helicopters shot down were by the RPG. In Afghanistan, the Mujahideen found that the best anti-helicopter tactics were anti-helicopter ambushes. The first variant was to identify likely landing zones and mine them. Then the Mujahideen would position machine guns and RPGs around the landing zone. As the helicopter landed, massed RPG and machine gun fire would tear into the aircraft.(14)

If the Mujahideen could not lure helicopters into an ambush kill zone, the RPG could still engage helicopters. The Mujahideen found that a frontal shot at a range of 100 meters was optimum against an approaching helicopter.(15) As before, the more RPGs firing simultaneously, the better chance of a hit and escape from an avenging wingman.(16)

Should the helicopters be flying further away, it was better to wait until the helicopter was 700-800 meters away and then fire, trying to catch the helicopter with the explosion of the round's self-destruction at 920 meters distance. Chances of hitting a helicopter at this range by the self-destruct mechanism were very limited.

i know about RPG as i have been the "target". mostly RPG-2/B40 RPG-7/B50
www.youtube.com...
www.brownwater-navy.com...
www.brownwater-navy.com...
brownwater-navy.com...

You will notice that many of the boat have steel grating around inportant parts. and the hulls are ether grating over 2 foot of foam or sheet metal over foam outside the normal hull.
that was how we defeated RPG rounds by defeating there standoff distance.

The funny part about RPGs are sometimes more dangerous to the firer then the target.
We had many VC that forgot to take the safety cap off the rocket before firing them and we would find them stuck in the armor grating with the safety cap on the fuse still on.
We watched them fired from back in the jungle and go 20 to 40 feet and hit a tree branch and explode wiping out other VC firing AKs at us.

One we liked was when a VC jumped out of the tree line kneeled down and fired, with a VC officer standing right behind him. the back-blast got the officer right in the groin.
A VC getting mud in the back of the launcher would cause them to blowup.
and you would not believe how many VC would rest there launchers butt first on the ground when taking a break along the trail.

Other problems were the some launchers were defective and if they jumped up and tried to fire with the launcher safety still on and when it did not fire They would duck down and take the safety off, the defect would cause it to fire then without pulling the trigger.
Or due to the high humidity in Vietnam some rockets would hang-fire up to 10 seconds.
In both cases it was very dangerous to the shooter to have the RPG go off in a enclosed bunker or foxhole with them.

If all that did not get the VC RPG shooters the Navy Seals liked to leave doctored rounds laying around VC camps after the had attacked the camps.
Many of these doctored rounds would blow up when the trigger was pulled.
a rocket blowing up a foot in front of the RPG firers face killed him and in most cases his ammo carrier plus destroyed the launcher and sometimes his spare rounds.

The arming distance varied with the country that made the rockets and how old the rockets are. anything from 2 foot to never, some of the north vietnamese made rockets sometime did not even need to be fired to arm and more then a few VC tripped and blew up with the rocket still in the launcher.



posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 06:58 PM
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RPG-7 is an all purpose weapon that can take on a variety of targets-from fortifications to troops, to APCs and Tanks, and helicopters. It can (as has been shown in recent conflicts) destroy the most modern tanks if it hits the right spot. Additionally, we have made a set of new rounds for the RPG, ranging from special anti-personal grenades, to Tandem warheads which can penetrate modern tanks, thus increasing its service-life.



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