The RPG-7 (Russian: РПГ-7) is a widely-produced, portable, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket propelled grenade weapon. Originally the RPG-7 (Ручной, Ruchnoy [Hand-held] Противотанковый, Protivotankovyy [Anti-Tank] Гранатомёт, Granatomyot [Grenade Launcher]) and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company. The weapon has the GRAU index 6G3.
The ruggedness, simplicity, low cost, and effectiveness of the RPG-7 has made it the most widely used anti-tank weapon in the world. Currently around 40 countries use the weapon, and it is manufactured in a number of variants by nine countries. It is also popular with irregular and guerrilla forces. The RPG has been used in almost all conflicts across all continents since the mid-1960s from the Vietnam War to the present day War in Afghanistan and Iraq War.
The most commonly seen major variations are the RPG-7D paratrooper model (able to be broken into two parts for easier carrying), and the lighter Chinese Type 69 RPG. DIO of Iran manufactures RPG-7s of better quality with olive green handguards, H&K pistol grips, and a Commando variant.
The RPG-7 was first delivered to the Soviet Army in 1961 and deployed at a squad level. It replaced the RPG-2, having clearly out-performed the intermediate RPG-4 design during testing. The current model produced by Russia is the RPG-7V2, capable of firing standard and dual high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, high explosive/fragmentation, and thermobaric warheads (see below), with a UP-7V sighting device fitted (used in tandem with the standard 2.7x PGO-7 optical sight) to allow the use of extended range ammunition. The RPG-7D3 is the equivalent paratrooper model. Both the RPG-7V2 and RPG-7D3 were adopted by the Russian Ground Forces in 2001.
Current production ammunition for the RPG-7V2 consists of four types:
- PG-7VL standard HEAT warhead for most vehicles and fortified targets (93 mm) (19.5 inches of penetration against steel armor plate)
- PG-7VR dual HEAT warhead for defeating modern heavily armored vehicles equipped with reactive armor (105mm) (minimum of 23.6 inches of penetration of steel armor plate after reactive armor)
- TBG-7V thermobaric warhead for anti-personnel and urban warfare (105 mm)
- OG-7V fragmentation warhead for anti-personnel warfare (within caliber due to limitations of international treaties)