Infantry weapons / Rocket launchers / RPG-16

RPG-16

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    Udar, blow (Russian nickname)
    Grom, thunder (Russian nickname)
    6G9 (GRAU designation for launcher)
    7P7 (GRAU designation for warhead)
    TKB-034

  • DESIGNED
    1968

  • DESIGNER
    KBP Tula

  • PRODUCTION
    1970 - 1990's

  • PRODUCERS
    USSR - KBP Tula

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good accuracy and range
    Shorter than RPG-7 with warhead
    Reusable launcher
    Rather heavy
    Reasonable armor penetration
    Single type of ammunition

Introduction

The RPG-16 is a late Cold War era rocket launcher of Soviet origin. It was developed in the late 1960's as a longer range alternative to the RPG-7 for airborne forces. Whereas the RPG-7 was produced in huge quantities and widely exported the RPG-16 played only a minor role.

Design

The reusable launcher of the RPG-16 is an enlarged version of the RPG-7. For transportation the launcher can be broken down in two halves in a similar way as the RPG-7D. Unlike the RPG-7 the rocket fits entirely within the launch tube. The larger diameter launche tube allows for a larger rocket motor, but limits the size of the enclosed warhead. Iron sights are fitted but the optical sight is the primary means of aiming.

Firepower

A single operator may use the RPG-16. The only rocket available is the PG-16 HEAT round. This has a 300mm RHA penetration. The warhead is effective against armored vehicles and infantry positions. Modern tanks cannot be engaged over the frontal arc. Stationary targets can be engaged out to 800 meters. Usually a two man team carries a single launcher and five rockets.

Users

The RPG-16 was primarily used by Soviet airborne forces. It was actively used in the Afghanistan campaign. Unlike other Soviet infantry weapons the RPG-16 was hardly exported. Low rate production was maintained until the 1990's.

Variants

RPG-16

RPG-16: This weapon was produced only in a single variant with only a single type of ammunition available. Overall the RPG-16 looks rather similar to the RPG-7. Distinguishing features of the RPG-16 are the larger diameter launch tube, having a large metal bipod near the muzzle, the pistol grip is located in front of the vertical grip and a wooden shoulder protector is fitted further towards the rear.

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