Infantry weapons / Rocket launchers / RPG-2

RPG-2

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    Type 56 (Chinese production)
    B-40 (Vietnamese production)

  • DESIGNED
    1947

  • DESIGNER
    Soviet state arsenal

  • PRODUCTION
    1949 - early 1980's

  • PRODUCERS
    Cambodia
    China
    USSR
    Vietnam

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Low production costs
    Limited weight
    Reusable launcher
    Easy to use
    Limited armor penetration
    Limited range
    Low accuracy
    Single type of warhead available

Introduction

The RPG-2 is a Soviet rocket launcher developed shortly after World War 2. The design of the RPG-2 is based on the Nazi German Panzerfaust 250, which was developed at the final stages of World War 2. The RPG-2 was developed mainly as a low cost and easy to use weapon. Due to its limited performance it was replaced by the iconic RPG-7. At a glance RPG-2 and RPG-7 look very much alike.

Design

The RPG-2 consists of a reusable launcher and a muzzle loaded overcaliber projectile. The steel launche tube has a wooden cover to protect the user from both heat and cold. A pistol grip with trigger is used to fire the projectile. Aiming is done by two mechanical flip up sights. The projectile has a HEAT warhead twice the size of the body. It is stabilized in flight by several small folding fins. The RPG-2 is operated by a single soldier. Usually a second soldier carries additional ammunition.

Firepower

The HEAT warhead is capable of penetrating 150 to 180 mm RHA. An improved Chinese warhead penetrates 265 mm under optimal conditions. Maximum range is quoted as 200 meters. In practice the maximum range is 150 meters against stationary targets and 100 meters against slow moving targets. Accuracy is reported to be poor.

Users

The RPG-2 was produced in large quantities and widely used with Soviet forces and its allies. Due to its limited combat effectiveness it was also soon replaced by the more capable RPG-7. The RPG-2 and its Asian production models were widely used during the Vietnam war. The RPG-2 is considered obsolete for a long time. It is still in sporadic use in third world countries.

Variants

RPG-2 launcher

RPG-2: Original Soviet production version.
Type 56: Chinese production version. Fires improved warhead from unaltered launcher.
B-40: Original Vietnamese production version.
B-50: Improved Vietnamese production version.

TypeRocket launcher
Crew1
Caliber40 mm tube, larger warhead
Length1.194 mm without rocket
Width?
Height?
Weight2.83 kg empty, 4.67 kg with PG-2 rocket
SightsIron sights
AmmunitionVarious rockets
GuidanceNone, free flight
Velocity?
RangeDepends on rocket
Penetration
Remarks
TypeRocket launcher
Crew1
Caliber40 mm tube, larger warhead
Length1.194 mm without rocket
Width?
Height?
Weight2.83 kg empty, 4.67 kg with Type 50 rocket
SightsIron sights
AmmunitionVarious rockets
GuidanceNone, free flight
Velocity?
RangeDepends on rocket
PenetrationDepends on rocket, 265 mm RHA for Type 50
RemarksReusable launcher, rate of fire is 4 to 6 rpm

RPG-2 ammunition

PG-2: Original Soviet HEAT round.
Type 50: Chinese HEAT round with much improved penetration.

TypeRocket
Diameter82 mm warhead, 40 mm body
Length?
Weight1.84 kg
GuidanceNone, free flight
WarheadHEAT, penetration 150 to 180 mm RHA
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed?
Range?
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-
TypeRocket
Diameter80 mm warhead, 40 mm body
Length?
Weight1.84 kg
GuidanceNone, free flight
WarheadHEAT, penetration 265 mm RHA at 0 degree obliquity
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed?
Range?
Altitude-
Engagement envelope-
Remarks-

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