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Analysis Russian armed forces need new multi-role grenade launchers TASS 12604163


Military Defense Industry Technology - Analysis RPG Russia
 
Analysis : Russian armed forces need new multi-role grenade launchers.
Russian Armed Forces need new multi-role grenade launchers, according to several Russian defense analysts.At the moment, RPG-7 still remains the organic multi-role grenade launcher of Russian Armed Forces. It was brought into service in 1961 and demonstrated in 1968.
     
     
There are several slightly differing variant of RPG-7 with RPG-7V2 being the latest one. RPG-7V2 was brought into service in 2001. The launcher received new UP-7V attaching lug for optical scopes. Nevertheless, Picatinny rail sights cannot be installed on RPG-7V2 without special extension bar.

RPG-7V2`s steel launching tube has a weight of 6.5 kg, a caliber of 40 mm and a length of 950 mm. The launcher`s effective firing range reaches 350 m for anti-tank and 450 m for anti-personnel rocket-propelled grenades. It should be noted, that the RPG-7V2`s construction has not been significantly changed (compared to the basic RPG-7 model). The new grenade launcher retains huge weight of its predecessor. RPG-7V2 in basic configuration lacks the ability to use Picatinny rail sights (including the red dot ones).

RPG-7V2 has several foreign counterparts at the international arms market. Moreover, Russian grenade launcher seems not to be a preferable option for several countries, willing to acquire new light anti-tank weapon. Russian Bazalt company, the original manufacturer of RPG-7V2 launcher also faces with unfair competition at the global market. During the Cold War era, the Soviet Union granted RPG-7 production license to several countries of the Warsaw pact. Moreover, the launchers were supplied to state, which initiated domestic production of RPG-7 (for instance. China and Egypt). Hence. Basalt has a little chance to cease unlicensed production of the weapon.
     
There are several slightly differing variant of RPG-7 with RPG-7V2 being the latest one. RPG-7V2 was brought into service in 2001. The launcher received new UP-7V attaching lug for optical scopes. Nevertheless, Picatinny rail sights cannot be installed on RPG-7V2 without special extension bar. RPG-7V2
     
AirTronic USA has developed RPG-7-based Mk.777 lightweight multi-role grenade launcher. It extremely resembles the original Russian weapon and features Picatinny rails, enhanced M-16-type pistol grip, lightweight tube and convenient padded shoulder piece. AirTronic USA has removed two main technical disadvantages of RPG-7, namely, lack of Picatinny-standard attaching lug for optical/red dot scopes and excess weight of launching tube. Mk.777 has a weight of 3.4 kg, a length of 915 mm and an effective firing range of 350-400 m. According to several US sources, Mk.777 can fire almost all types of rocket-propelled grenades intended for RPG-7, so it can replace RPG-7V2.

At the same time, Bazalt has not revealed the upgraded variant of RPG-7V2 with reduced weight and improved attaching lug for scopes.

At the moment, Russian defense industry has developed seven types of rocket-propelled grenades (including five anti-tank and two anti-personnel ones). The first grenade, PG-7V (7P1) was introduced in 1961. It has an armour-piercing capability of 260 mm and a combat weight of 2.2 kg. In 1969, Soviet defense industry introduced enhanced PG-7VM grenade, being able to pierce 300 mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). PG-7VS (armour-piercing capability of 400 mm) and PG-7VL Luch (armour-piericng capability of 500 mm) were brought into service in 1972 and in 1977, respectively. It should be noted that all aforementioned munitions could not effectively destroy modern main battle tanks (MBT) equipped with advanced armour plates and explosive reactive armour (ERA), such as US M1 Abrams and German Leopard 2. To this end, Soviet defense industry developed PG-7VR Resume grenade. PG-7VR armed with tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead can pierce 650 mm of RHA behind ERA. The munition was introduced in 1988 and issued to Soviet/Russian Armed Forces in large quantities.
     
AirTronic USA has developed RPG-7-based Mk.777 lightweight multi-role grenade launcher. It extremely resembles the original Russian weapon and features Picatinny rails, enhanced M-16-type pistol grip, lightweight tube and convenient padded shoulder piece. AirTronic USA has developed RPG-7-based Mk.777 lightweight multi-role grenade launcher.
     
RPG-7 was originally developed as an anti-tank weapon. Hence, it lacked anti-personnel grenades for a long period. The Afghan war (1979-1989) demonstrated the effectiveness of RPG-7 armed with Chinese grenades with high-explosive (HE) warheads as an anti-personnel weapon. In the late 1980s, TBG-7V Tanin with thermobaric warhead was introduced. It has an effective firing range of 200 m. In 1999, Russian defense industry brought into service OG-7V Oskolok anti-personnel rocket-propelled grenade.

RPG-7V2 can fire munitions armed with warheads of all types. Nevertheless, the aforementioned grenades have several technical disadvantages. For instance, PG-7VR Resume and TBG-7V Tanin lack effective firing range (approximately 200 m). The transportation of these grenades is relatively difficult due to large-scale tandem and thermobaric warheads, respectively. Such grenades are supposed to be replaced by long-range anti-tank rocket-propelled unguided munitions. Hence, Russian Armed Forces need new multi-role grenade launcher or deeply upgraded and lightweight variant of RPG-7V2 with Picatinny rail attaching lug. The range of rocket-propelled munitions is also supposed to be extended. Nevertheless, RPG-7 remains an effective weapon, being able to eliminate hostile armour, personnel and even low-flying helicopters.
 

 

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