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73mm SPG-9



Overview


SPG-9

Rear view of SPG-9 being fired.
Source: US Navy (PO2 Ernesto Hernandez Fonte) - © public domain

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Recoilless rifle
Entered service
1962
Status
In service
Development
Late 1950's
Developer
Soviet Union - TsKIB SOO
Silin & Alekseev
Production
1962 - present
Producer
Soviet Union
Bulgaria
Romania
Designations
Kopye (nickname)
Russian for "spear"
6G6 (GRAU index for SPG-9)
6G7 (GRAU index for SPG-9D)
6G13 (GRAU index for SPG-9M)
AG-9 (Romanian production)
SPG-9DNM (Bulgarian production)
SZPG-9 (Hungarian service)

Description


Introduction

The SPG-9 is an early Cold War era recoilless rifle of Soviet origin. It was developed as a more potent replacement for the 82mm B-10 recoilless rifle. Compared to the B-10 the SPG-9 is lighter, more accurate and has better armor penetration. In modified form the SPG-9 and its 73mm projectiles serve as the main armament of the BMP-1 mechanized infantry combat vehicle.

Design


The SPG-9 is a breech loaded smoothbore recoilless rifle. The 73mm projectiles are rocket assisted and fin stabilized. An optical sight or night sight is fitted. The SPG-9 is tripod mounted when used by infantry and can be pedestal mounted on vehicles and ships. A crew of 2 is required to operated the SPG-9, although a crew of 4 recommended. The SPG-9 cannot be shoulder fired.

Firepower

A skilled crew can fire 5 to 6 rounds per minute. Armor penetration is 300mm RHA with standard HEAT-FS projectiles and 400mm RHA improved projectiles. The maximum effective direct fire range with both HEAT-FS and HE-Frag projectiles is 800 meters. Indirect fire range is 1.3 km with HEAT-FS and 4.5 km with HE-Frag projectiles.

Mobility

Compared to the older B-10 the SPG-9 is much lighter. It can be manhandled over short distances in the field, but ought to be moved by jeep or larger vehicle over longer distances.

Users

The SPG-9 was adopted by Soviet forces in the early 1960's and was produced in large quantities. Large numbers were exported to Soviet allies and the SPG-9 is produced under license in several nations. Large numbers of SPG-9 remain in use today, albeit mostly as a fire support weapon and not as an anti-tank weapon. Anti-tank guided weapons are preferable at longer ranges, augmented by shoulder fired weapons at shorter ranges.

Variants

SPG-9
Original production model.
SPG-9M
Improved launcher introduced 1971. Adds ability to launch OG-9 series of HE-Frag.
SPG-9D
Airborne variant with detachable wheels.

Media


Details


Facts SPG-9
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Recoilless rifle
Crew
2 to 4
Lifespan
Reusable launcher
Dimensions
Weight
47.5 kg (gun)
12.0 kg (tripod)
Length
2.11 m
Width
0.99 m
Height
0.80 m
Ammunition
Diameter
73 mm
Warhead type
Various warheads available
Rate of fire
5 to 6 rpm
Penetration
Depends on warhead
300 to 400 mm RHA for HEAT-FS
Velocity
435 m/s for HEAT-FS
316 m/s for HE-Frag
Range
800 m direct fire
1.3 km max for HEAT
4.5 km max for HE-Frag
Accessories
Sights
PGO-9 4x optical sight
Night sight
PGN-9 passive night sight (optional)
Field mount
Collapsible tripod
Detachable wheels optional
Tripod firing arc
30° total traverse

Related articles


73mm PG-9

The SPG-9 fires the PG-9 and OG-9 range of 73mm ammunition.