72mm/105mm Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher
The RPG-32 entered Russian Army service in 2008 and has seen export orders.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
At the start of the new millennium, the governments of Jordan and Mexico commissioned the Russian government-run bureau of Bazalt to design and develop a modern armor-defeating, anti-tank measure with penetration capabilities against reinforced concrete targets. The result was the "RPG-32" based on the existing RPG-29. Russia has long held an expertise with inexpensive anti-tank devices going as far back as World War 2 during their bloody conflict with Germany and the Axis powers. The RPG-32 became, in many ways, a culmination of the many successes of previous designs which included the world-renowned RPG-7 (which Bazalt continues to produce). The RPG-32 entered service in 2008 and is utilized by the armies of Iraq, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The "Hashim" designator sometimes seen is applied by the Jordanian Army in reference to the Arab Hashemite dynasty of centuries past. Jordan supplied initial financing of the RPG-32 initiative and its engineers played a role in the final design.
At its core, the RPG-32 is a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in much the same vein as the RPG-7 before it though featuring a much lighter launcher and more capable rocket element. The system consists of the launch tube which, in itself, integrates the optics and trigger mechanism. The rocket grenade is provided through a pre-fabricated casing that is inserted at the rear of the tube prior to firing. The optical sight is managed from the left side of the launch tube with the trigger unit along the right. As with the earlier RPG developments, little preparation is required to make the RPG-32 ready and little training is required in its use - making it popular amongst many operators. The RPG-32 launcher is of 105mm caliber though it can fire from an ammunition stock of both 105mm (15.4lbs) and 72mm rocket types. There are two recognized rockets available - the "PG-32V" tandem HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) and the "TBG-32V" Thermobaric Fragmentation Anti-Armor (TFAA). The former is listed with a penetration up to 650mm (25 inches) and a muzzle velocity of 460 feet per second with an effective range out to 2,300 feet. Rockets are delivered from the factory in a disposable case which is affixed to the rear of the reusable launch tube.
The RPG-32 is said to be capable of defeating the base armor of present-day Main Battle Tanks while the warhead is suitable against other target types including fortified structures. The launcher is purposely designed to be man-portable and is fired from the shoulder in the usual way. Firing from within buildings is, of course, restricted to an extent due to the violent back-blast of such weapons in confined spaces. Launchers weigh 3 kilograms (sans projectile) and their value is limited only by the ammunition supply on hand. Common practice is an RPG carrier with 3 x rocket grenades in a specially-devised backpack alongside his primary automatic weapon. As the projectile is a true "rocket grenade" and not a homing/guided missile, the projectile is essentially a "point-and-shoot" weapon without any guidance provided to the rocket after launch. This helps to keep procurement costs down substantially while providing for a very modern armor-penetrating system for discerning customers. According to company sources, a single launcher is rated for the firing of 200 rockets.
It is believed that local license production of the launchers and rockets are handled in Argentina, Brazil, Jordan and Mexico. Such manufacture of a local solution was one of the initial project goals concerning the RPG-32.