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RPG-22
RPG-22 rocket launcher.jpg
RPG-22 launcher
Type Rocket-propelled grenade
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1985
Specifications
Weight 2.8 kg
Length 785 mm (unarmed)
850 mm (ready to fire)

Shell HEAT with penetration of 400 mm versus RHA
Caliber 72.5 mm
Muzzle velocity 133 m/s
Effective range 150–200m
Maximum range 250 m

The Soviet RPG-22 Netto is a one-shot disposable anti-tank rocket launcher first deployed in 1985, based on the RPG-18 rocket launcher, but firing a larger 72.5 mm fin stabilised projectile. The weapon can be prepared to fire in around 10 seconds, and can penetrate 400 mm of armour, 1.2 metres of brick or 1 metre of reinforced concrete.[1]

Operation[edit | edit source]

The smoothbore container is made from two parts, a main tube containing the missile, and a telescoping forward extension, which slides over the barrel, both are made from fiberglass. In transport mode both ends of the barrel are closed by plastic covers, which open when the weapon is extended. The firing mechanism is manually cocked by raising the rear sight. Lowering the rear sight de-cocks the weapon if there is no target.

On firing there is a backblast danger area behind the weapon, of at least 15 metres, the solid propellant motor completely burns out while rocket is still in the barrel tube, accelerating it to about 133 metres per second. The weapon has simple pop-up sights graduated to ranges of 50, 150 and 250m

To keep training cost down a reusable RPG-22 is available that fires a 30 mm subcalibre projectile, weighing 350g, to operational ranges. Handling is identical to that of the full caliber version, with the exception of the discharge noise and backblast.

Use[edit | edit source]

On the evening of 20 September 2000, the MI6 Building in London the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service, was attacked by unapprehended forces using a RPG-22 anti-tank missile, causing superficial damage.[2]

A weapons cache destined for the Real IRA that was seized in Croatia in August 2000 contained a number of RPG-22s. Prices range from £150 to £220 per weapon. The one used against the MI6 building was Russian-made, while one found at Dungannon came from Bulgaria.[3]

Current operators[edit | edit source]

  • Bulgaria Bulgaria (local production at VMZ Sopot)[4]
  • India India
  •  Georgia[5]
  • Russia Russian Federation
  • Ukraine Ukraine
  • Turkmenistan Turkmenistan
  • Colombia Colombia
  • Peru Peru[6]

Former operators[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Reference in Print[edit | edit source]

  • Jones, Richard. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2005–06. Coulsdon: Jane's, 2005. ISBN 0-7106-2694-0.


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