Weapons of War - AFRF RPG -7
Easily one of the world’s most recognizable pieces of military hardware is the RPG-7, and for good reason. The RPG-7 (Ruchnoy Protivotankoviy Granatomet–7), commonly referred to as the 'rocket-propelled grenade,' is a further advancement of earlier rocket based launchers designed to neutralize enemy armor and sometimes personnel at a distance. The RPG can trace its routes of design back to World War II with the American Bazooka and German Panzerfaust, which Soviet soldiers often were able to get their hands on. First designed and produced in 1961, its popularity with guerrilla forces and certain countries has been consistent and the launcher is still in use despite being over fifty years old.
Without it's warhead, the steel tube weighs 7 kg (15 lbs) and is 950 mm (37.4 in) in length, thus the RPG-7 is extremely light and compact for its abilities and does not need a crew of more than one individual to fire and operate. A key to this weapons appeal is its ability to fire different types of warheads based on the operators choosing, including HE (High Explosive), FRAG (Fragmentation) and HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) rounds. The wide range of abilities allows the operator to take out anything from light vehicles to medium armor targets, including fortified enemy troops. With a muzzle velocity of 115 m/sec (377 feet/sec), the RPG-7 can fire four rounds per minute. The RPG-7's back blast and recoil is relatively small and allows it to be fired in buildings and enclosed fortified positions with relative ease. The weapon is simple to use, hence it being used heavily by guerrilla, insurgent, and less experienced fighting forces.
Standard iron sights are typically used and provide an accuracy range of 50 to 100 meters with one hundred percent accuracy. Any further than two hundred meters and the RPG’s accuracy drops to around fifty percent. The use of red dots and other optics such as PGO-7 sights can extend the weapons accuracy range further. The maximum achievable range of the RPG-7 is 930 meters. The phrase “The closer the better” is always true with the RPG-7.
Currently, the Russian army uses a more modern version of the RPG-7: the RPG-7V2, which is capable of firing thermobaric rounds. Thermobaric rounds use oxygen from the surrounding air to create a large blast pressure wave that is highly suitable for attacking enemy fortifications. The RPG-7’s reputation for its ruggedness, ease of use, and low cost to manufacture have attributed to the production of nine million of its variants. Its popularity has further extended its use to 40 countries and it has seen use in almost all major conflicts since the Vietnam War.
Written by PFC Donofrio
Edited by PFC Svenson
Formatted by PFC Laird