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Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) Launcher

Soviet Union | 1961

"The simple-to-use-yet-lethal Soviet-era RPG-7 rocket launcher proved popular from the outset - remaining in use with dozens of countries even today."

Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the RPG-7. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
984 ft
299.9 m | 328.0 yds
377 ft/sec
115 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
The physical qualities of the RPG-7. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
950 mm
37.40 in
O/A Length
950 mm
37.40 in
Barrel Length
17.42 lb
7.90 kg
Shoulder-Fired; Single-Shot; Reusable Launch Tube
Standard Iron; Optional Optics Set.
Notable series variants as part of the RPG-7 Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) Launcher family line.
RPG-7 - Base Series Designation
RPG-7V1 - Base Production Model Designation
RPG-7V - Single-stage HEAT projectile; up to 330mm penetration.
RPG-7VL - Single-stage HEAT projectile; up to 500mm penetration; anti-vehicle and anti-fortification.
RPG-VR - Tandem HEAT projectile; up to 600-700mm penetration; heavy-armored targets including reactive armor.
OG-7V - Fragmentation Projectile; 23ft effective range; anti-personnel.
TBG-7V - Single-stage thermobaric projectile; 33ft effective range; anti-personnel; urban usage.
RPG-7V2 - Current RPG-7 Model in use
RPG-7D3 - Paratrooper Model
Type 69 RPG - Chinese Production Designation
RPG-7USA - US designation; Picatinny Rails
B-41 - Cambodian and Vietnamese Designation
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/29/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The RPG-7 ("Ruchnoy Protivotankoviy Granatomet") was the follow-up in the family of Soviet-originated "RPG" man-portable, shoulder-fired, anti-tank rocket launchers (generically referred to as "RPGs"). The Soviet design could trace its roots back to the American "Bazooka" and German "Panzerfaust' launchers of World War 2 and many examples of these weapons came into the hands of Soviet troopers throughout the conflict. The RPG-7, like those rocket projecting systems before it, was devised as an inexpensive and easy-to-produce and operate, one-man, single-shot weapon for the purpose of defeating armor at range. Despite its 1961 introduction, the system maintains a faithful following and its production reach has meant that the weapon continues to see frontline service in a plethora of modern conflicts. Its qualities are such that the series is a favorite of organized national armies as well as rebels and guerrilla fighters the world over.

The RPG-7 is a further development of past RPG variations - from the earlier RPG-2, RPG-3 and RPG-4 rocket projectors - and can fire a variety of warhead types including FRAG (FRAGmentation), HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) and HE (High-Explosive) rounds. The FRAG projectile is a 4lb munition relying on 210 grams of A-IX-1 explosive. There are two major HEAT projectiles in the PG-7VL single-stage and PG-7VR tandem charge. The former weighs 5.7lb and the latter 9.9lb. Diameter is 93mm and 64mm respectively and these munitions can penetrade between 500mm and 750mm of Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA). The TBG-7V is a thermobaric projectile of 9.9lb weight with a listed caliber of 105mm.

Overall weight of the weapon is 15lb and overall length is 950mm (37.4 inches) making the system both lightweight and compact to carry. Grenades leave the muzzle at 115 meters per second and effective ranges are out to 200 meters (maximum achievable range is 920 meters). Sighting is through traditional static iron sights but optics are also supported as is a red dot reflex sighting device. At about 50 meters, the operator can achieve hit probability as high as 100% though this drops to half that at about 200 meters away from the target (of course many factors influence accuracy). Its effectiveness is not necessarily in the ability to stop light-armored vehicles but also to provide shock value to dug-in enemy troops.

The RPG-7 is an inherently compact weapon and paratrooper versions are designed to be broken down into major components for better travel. It provides generally lightly-armed troopers with necessary firepower to stop vehicles on approach or unseat defenders. The resulting "back blast" of the firing rocket is relatively minimal and this allows the RPG to be fired from enclosed spaces such as buildings and from covered outdoor positions. Its operation is also quite basic, requiring little training on the part of the user, which lends itself well to rebel forces and other less-organized fighters. Despite its sheer simplicity, the influence of the RPG-7 on the battlefield cannot be overstated.

The modern Russian Army relies on the modernized form of the weapon as the "RPG-7V2" and its paratrooper counterpart is the "RPG-7D3".

Over 9,000,000 examples of the RPG-7 have been produced since 1961 by Bazalt, Degtyarev and others. It is locally manufactured in no fewer than a dozen countries and can be found in the military inventories of nearly forty nations worldwide - from Afghanistan and Albania to Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Chinese version is designated "Type 69" and Vietnam knows it as the "B-41". For Sudan, the weapon is the "Sinar" and is produced by the Military Industry Corporation. Bulgaria designates their stock as "ATGL-L".

Airtronic of the United States fabricates the weapon as the "RPG-7USA" and this is a modern incarnation of the weapon complete with accessories rail, flip-up sights, and extended service life.

Former operators include East Germany, Rhodesia, and Yugoslavia. Comparable weapon systems in the West are the American M72 LAW, German Panzerfaust 3, and Israeli B-300.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the RPG-7. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Bazalt - Russia; Defense Industries Organization - Iran; Airtronic USA, Incorporated - USA
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Albania National flag of Algeria National flag of Armenia National flag of Bangladesh National flag of China National flag of Cuba National flag of Cyprus National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Ireland National flag of Israel National flag of Kazakhstan National flag of Lebanon National flag of Libya National flag of Malaysia National flag of Mexico National flag of Mongolia National flag of Myanmar National flag of North Korea National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru National flag of the Philippines National flag of Russia National flag of South Africa National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sudan National flag of Syria National flag of Turkey National flag of Ukraine National flag of Vietnam

[ Albania; Armenia; Afghanistan; Algeria; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; Cuba; Cyprus; Czechoslovakia; Czech Republic; Egypt; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Kazakhstan; Laos; Lebanon; Libya; Malaysia; Malta; Mexico; Myanmar; Mongolia; North Korea; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Russia; South Africa; Soviet Union; Sudan; Syria; Turkey; Ukraine; Vietnam ]
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Image of the RPG-7
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An Iraqi soldier takes aim with his RPG-7
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Image of the RPG-7
A US soldier celebrates his new find - an RPG-7
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Image of the RPG-7
An Egyptian soldier demonstrates the proper hold position for an RPG-7 to an American infantryman
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Image of the RPG-7
An American soldier checks out an unloaded RPG-7
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Image of the RPG-7
A collection of RPG-7 grenade rounds are part of the days raid
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Image of the RPG-7
A US soldier poses with an RPG-7
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Image of the RPG-7
A raid by Iraqi security forces nets another RPG_7 and grenade projectiles
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Image of the RPG-7
A collection of six RPG-7s are part of a daily raid in Iraq

Going Further...
The RPG-7 Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) Launcher appears in the following collections:
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