Anti-Tank Disposable Rocket Launcher
The RPG-26 featured a disposable launch tube and could be called upon to engage various hardened targets.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The RPG-26 (Rocket Propelled Grenade 26) was developed as a single-shot, disposable anti-tank battlefield solution for the Red Army during the Cold War. The weapon consisted of a non-descript cylindrical launch tube housing the 72.5mm anti-armor rocket within. The rocket was designed with spring-actuated stabilizing fins that emerged once the rocket cleared the launch tube upon firing. Penetration was made possible by the shaped-charge warhead to which some 440mm of armor thickness could be penetrated at effective ranges within 250 meters. In addition to its anti-armor function, the weapon could also be used to engage fortified structures as required. Overall length of the launch system was 770mm while overall weight was 2.9 kilograms.
The RShG-2 was a variant of the base RPG-26 system and utilized the same form and function as the original design. However, the rocket fitted a thermobaric warhead and the complete system weighed in at 3.5 kilograms. This solution also fielded a much more limited range, its effectiveness being limited to targets within 115 meters.
In all, the RPG-26 family of anti-tank solutions was comparable to the American M72 LAW, another disposable anti-tank weapon system utilizing a spring-loaded fin-stabilized 66mm rocket fielded in large numbers by the West during the Cold War.