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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 | Edited: 7/11/2017
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Year: 1970
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Soviet Union
Roles: Anti-Tank/Anti-Material/Breaching;
Action: Shoulder-Launched; Single-Use Disposable
Caliber(s): 72.5mm
Sights: Iron; Optional Optics
Overall Length: 770 mm (30.31 in)
Barrel Length: 770 mm (30.31 in)
Weight (Unloaded): 6.39 lb (2.90 kg)
Rate-of-Fire: 1 rounds-per-minute
Effective Range: 820 ft (250 m; 273 yd)
Operators: Soviet Union
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.

Variants / Models

• RPG-26 - Base Series Designation
• RShG-2 - Variant featuring projectile fitting a thermobaric warhead; reduced firing range due to added weight.
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