SHAH ALAM: More whoop a.. stuff, Part… It appears that the Army will be getting an undisclosed number of portable rocket launchers from Serbia and rocket propelled grenades from Romania. This was revealed when the Defence Ministry issued two tenders for multi-modal transport operators to transport the launchers from Serbia and RPG ordnance from Romania, respectively on 17 June 2021.
PERKHIDMATAN MULTIMODALTRANSPORT OPERATOR (MTO)BAGI KONTRAK MEMBEKAL,MENGHANTAR, MENGUJI DANMENTAULIAH LIGHT ANTI TANK WEAPON – SHORTR ANGE (ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE) UNTUK TENTERADARAT Pakej 1 – Hand GrenadeLauncher with Sight RBR 7.
Specifications: Hand Grenade Launcher with Sight RBR7 Pengangkutan Udara. Daripada Lapangan Terbang yang berkenaan di Belgrade, Serbia ke Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur dan terus ke destinasi akhir di 91 Depot Pusat Kor Ordnans Diraja,Kem Batu Kentonmen, Kuala Lumpur.
Even though the advertisement did not identify the manufacturer, a quick Google search showed the RBR 7 RPG launcher is manufactured by the Namenska company from Serbia. The RBR-7 looked slightly different as it is not fitted with wooden furniture unlike the Pakistani made RPG launcher (also like the Russian made RPG-7V1) in service latter (see the pictures above and below).
The Pakistan Ordnance Factory RPG launcher has been in service for at least 15 years now and has been seen with most of the army regular units from the parachute to the mechanised and standard battalions.
As for the RPG itself, it is manufactured a Romarm, a state owned arms company, a Google search showed.
PERKHIDMATAN MULTI MODAL TRANSPORT OPERATOR (MTO)BAGI KONTRAK MEMBEKAL,MENGHANTAR, MENGUJI DANMENTAULIAH LIGHT ANTITANK WEAPON – SHORT RANGE (ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE) UNTUK TENTERADARAT Pakej 2 – 40mm Prefragmented Body HE Steel Bomb Round
Specifications: 40mm Prefragmented Body HE Steel Bomb Round Pengangkutan Laut. Daripada Constanta Port, Romania ke Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor dan terus kedestinasi akhir di 93 Depot Pusat Peluru, KemMempaga, Bentong, Pahang. Rujuk Lampiran Q1 danLampiran A1-2 untuk maklumat terperinci.
As Romarm manufactured five types of the 40mm RPG, it is unclear what type is being imported though.
I am assuming the new RPG launcher will be distributed to units already equipped with them, while their POF made ones are rotated back down the line to other units like the Rejimen Sempadan.
While I understand the need to have a reloadable light anti tank weapon with our infantry units I believed RPGs especially their launchers are too bulky for our soldiers. That said I have handled and fired an RPG only once during a media tour to Kem Sirajuddin, Gemas in 2016 so my observations could be wrong, of course.
The M72 LAWs (used by the Parachute Battalions) or the not in service Saab AT4 (also a single shot disposable, AT and all purpose weapons) are more suited to our conditions, they being shorter in length and weight.
Do note that the latest version of the M72 LAW weighs around 3.6kg compared to the RPG launcher 7kg empty with sights and the AT-4 6kg to 8kg (fully loaded with sights). The latest version of the Saab Carl Gustaf 84mm recoiless rifle is 7kg with sights (though this weapon is only issued to the weapons company)
The standard RPG warhead weighs around 2.6kg each, usually four are carried in a shoulder harness though I am not sure how many warheads are carried by an infantry section. See the video below to see an infantry section from a mechanised battalion deploying and firing RPGs.
Note that the MTO advertisements did not specify the number of launchers and ammunition being imported. Our regular commentator, Mike, however stated that we are getting 150 launchers and 2600 RPGs though likely from the unlisted tender for them.
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