MANUFACTURER(S): AirTronic USA - USA
OPERATORS: Philippines; United States
SIGHTS: Flip-Up Iron; PSRL 3.5x24mm Optical Sight
Detailing the development and operational history of the AirTronic PSRL-1 (RPG-7USA) Anti-Armor / Anti-Personnel Shoulder-Fired Rocket Launcher.
Entry last updated on 2/26/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
AirTronic USA produces a Western equivalent to the ages-old Soviet-era RPG-7 shoulder-fired Rocket-Propelled Grenade launcher (detailed elsewhere on this site). The product debuted in 2009 as the RPG-7USA and is also known as the PSRL-1 ("Precision Shoulder-fired Rocket Launcher 1"). The 40mm is billed as an "Americanized" version of the storied weapon, available in 40mm caliber, and weighs 14lbs with a length of 950mm. The product is marketed as compatible/backwards compatible with all existing RPG-7 rocket projectiles.
The original RPG-7 series was introduced by Bazalt of the Soviet Union in 1961 and has since seen over 9,000,000 examples produced - making it the most successful weapon of its kind. The weapon was well-received for its relatively destructive capabilities with reasonable procurement and maintenance costs. It was easy to train and operate the system and a single operator could carry multiple rocket reloads into combat. Ambushing armored vehicles and convoys proved popular and the rocket could also be fielded as an anti-personnel measure.
The Soviet model has seen consistent battlefield exposure since the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and is favored by guerilla and insurgent forces as much as any single army - which keeps it at the forefront of hit-and-run assaults by lesser foes facing more established / organized military services. Beyond ongoing production in Russia, various entities around the world now produce a copy of (or variant) of the RPG-7 - such has been its influence on the battlefield.
The AirTronic version has a tube of machined (as opposed to cast) steel and accessory rails (MIL-STD-1913) are featured over and under the launch tube supporting AR-15/M16-style add-ons. The primary trigger/grip handle is integral to the design but the aft-grip is replaceable. As with the RPG-7, the PSRL-1's grenade rocket sits exposed and ahead of the trigger unit. The sighting device is the in-house PSRL 3.5x24mm Optical Sight though a flip-up iron assembly is also included. A single launcher is rated for up to 1,000 total lifetime rounds. Maximum engagement range reaches nearly 1,000 meters with an effective range closer to 800 meters. Back blast is out to 20 meters behind the operator / weapon. A trained shooter can manage a rate-of-fire of 3 to 4 rounds-per-minute. The launcher breaks down into two sections for ease-if-transport.
The Philippine Army contracted for 400 examples of the AirTronic model. It is also in service with American SOCOM special forces elements.
The GS-777 is a related offshoot of the PSLR-1, made lighter through use of polymers with greater long-term reliability. It is categorized as a recoilless rifle.