RPG-7V Rocket Launcher Caliber: 40 mm launcher; 40 and 70 105mm warheads (depending on the grenade model) Type: recoilless launch + rocket booster Overall length: 650 mm Weight: 6.3 kg unloaded, with PGO7 telescope sight Effective range: 200500 meters, depending on the grenade type Some grenades, used in RPG7 (Soviet/Russian origins) OG PG7V PG7VL PG7VR TBG7V 7V Year of adoption 1961 1977 1988 1988 1999 Warhead 85 93 64 / 105 105 40 caliber, mm Weight, kg 2.2 2.6 4.5 4.5 2.0 Effective range, 500 500 200 200 350 meters Armor 260 500 ERA + 600700 penetration, mm The RPG7 is a further development of the previous RPG2 antitank grenade launcher. RPG7, in its first version, known as RPG7V, has been adopted by Soviet army in 1961, and still is widely fielded in Russia and at least 50 more countries. By far, RPG7 can be considered as one of the most successful antitank grenade launchers ever made. Initially thought as an antiarmor weapon, it latter has been adopted for other firesupport missions by introduction of various types of grenades, such as antiinfantry HEFRAG, multipurpose Thermobaric / FAE, and some other types of ammunition. The antitank grenades for RPG7 also came a long way, from original PG7V grenade, with penetration of about 260mm/10inches of RHA, and up to 500mm/20inches of RHA or 1.5 meters/5ft of brick wall with singlewarhead PG7VL grenade, developed in 1977. By the late 1980s, a tandemtype PG7VR grenade has been introduced. This grenade has two warheads and is intended against the most modern tanks, fitted with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor). Front warhead sets off the ERA, and second warhead then penetrates more than 600mm/24in of armor. The RPG7 is a shoulder fired, singleshot, smoothbore recoilless launcher. Grenades are loaded from the front, and the rear of the barrel is fitted with venturi nozzle. Because of the recoilless design, there is a dangerous backblast zone, more than 20 meters/60ft long. The antitank grenades are of combination type, using a charge of smokeless powder for RCLtype launch. Once grenade reaches safe distance from the shooter (about 1020 meters), the builtin rocket booster engine ignites and further accelerates the grenade, greatly enhancing the effective range (up to 500+ meters for single warhead grenades, up to 200+ meters for much heavier tandem or FAE grenades). Because of increase in range, RPG7 is usually issued with 2.7X fixed magnification optical sight, designated PGO7. The sight has a rangefinding scale for typical targets (tanks) with height of 2.7m/9ft, and windage adjustment scales. RPG7 also fitted with backup iron sights. RPG7 uses mechanical ignition system with manually cocked external hammer, and a singleaction trigger. Because of this, grenade must be properly aligned with the firing mechanism upon loading. Each AT grenade consists of a largecaliber HEAT warhead with base fuze, with the 40mm diameter rocket engine behind. The rocket nozzles are located at the front of the engine, close to the warhead. The tail of the rocket is fitted with folding stabiliztator fins, which are extended when grenade leaves the barrel. The launch charge, made of black powder, is loaded into a combustible cardboard case, and attached to the rear of the grenade prior to loading into launcher. Grenades and launch charges are carried in special backpacks. By the original soviet standards, grenadier carries two rounds, and his assistant carries three more. There were several minor upgrades to the basic design of the RPG7 in USSR and Russia, the most important being the RPG7D, with twopart takedown barrel, which was issued to the airborne troops. Since RPG7 was, and still is manufactured in many countries (such as Bulgaria, China, Iraq and Romania, to name a few), there are plenty of modifications in launcher, and, more important, in grenades. RPG7 is a simple and inexpensive weapon, yet it possess a high threat to most modern tanks, and also can serve in a number of other roles, making it a true oneman artillery.