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Published on Jul 7, 2007
The RPG-7 (Russian: РПГ-7) is a widely-produced, portable, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade weapon. Originally the RPG-7 (Reaktivniy (Rocket) Protivotankovye (Anti-Tank) Granatamyot (Grenade Launcher) and its predecessor the RPG-2 were designed by the Soviet Union. The weapon has the GRAU index 6G3.
The ruggedness, simplicity, low cost, and effectiveness of the RPG-7 have made it the most widely used RPG 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. Numerous recent conflicts with such forces have seen extensive use of the RPG-7, including the Battle of Mogadishu, 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.
The RPG-7 was first delivered to the Soviet Army in 1961 and deployed at a squad level. It replaced the RPG-3, having clearly out-performed the intermediate RPG-4 design during testing. Its original design concept originated with two World War II era weapons: the American Bazooka and the German Panzerfaust. 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, with a UP-7V sighting device fitted (used in tandem with the standard 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.