Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/6/2002 5:30:48 AM EDT
Hi folks, I read a thread somewhere on the Web about how the Army sticks with 20mm pop-guns and how they should bring back the recoilless rifle. This got me thinking. Please be patient at this point I'm non-Mil, but extremely supportive. After seeing [b][i]Blackhawk Down[/b][/i] I'm very impressed with the effectiveness of RPG's. Seems like all over the middle east these leftover Soviet RPG's make a mess of a battlefield. All the reports from Trashcanistan make mention of RPG's in the current fighting. What is the Army or Marine standard for this kind of munition? I've read that in a team there's at least one guy with a M204 Grenade Launcher. But are these really effective when matched against bad guys with RPG's? Does the US have a one-man shoulder fired RPG like the bad guys have? Your knowlegable answers sincerely appreciated.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 6:00:40 AM EDT
AT4s, SMAWs, Dragons, TOWs....
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 6:07:23 AM EDT
The RPG is termed a "rocket propelled grenade" but it's an anti-tank rocket launcher. In simple terms it's the same thing as a commie Bazooka. They are good weapons. They hit hard, have a good range, and are dual purpose in that you can shoot other things than tanks, like people, etc. They are heavy, and their rounds are big. The US went a different route. We produced LAW rocket launchers which were disposable. Basically instead of one guy with a RPG and three rounds, you had the LAW issued as a round of ammo and you could have 11 guys in a squad armed with them. That's 11 different guys, shooting from 11 different angles at the tank. They didn't have the range or punch of the RPG, but you had more of them. The LAW has been replaced in the US with the AT-4, which is a bigger disposable AT rocket launcher. This would be the current US counterpart to the RPG. There are several other weapons under development, like MAWS, etc. that are basically reloadable rocket launchers of one type or another. The Ranger Battalions use the 84mm Carl Gustav Recoiless rifle. That's a shoulder fired weapon, that will bust big holes in things. The M203 40mm Grenade launcher isn't really comparable to the RPG, as it's a different type weapon. It was our replacement for the rifle grenade that was fired off the end of the rifle. As a comparison, for example in Africa where rifle grenades are still in use in the bush, a rifle grenade will go about 100-150 meters, and not be too accurate. A 40mm M203 will go 450 meters, and at shorter ranges has the accuracy to fire through windows. Ross
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 8:37:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 10:21:59 AM EDT
RPG does not stand for "rocket propelled grenade." that is a media fiction. RPG is the English transliteration of the Russian language acronym for this series of shoulder fired rocket launchers. The real transliteration comes out to something like Rocket, Infantry, Launched with the "P" stnading for Privyets (or something like that, my Russian is very, very rusty) or infantry. This is the same as "BMP," which literally stands for Fighting Machine, Infantry or PKM, which is Infantry machinegun, Kalashnikov design board. The Marines use the SMAW, which is an Israeli copy (with greater emphasis on safety) of the RPG series launchers. There are numerous other shoulder fired rockets in the US inventory, although we mainly opted for disposable launchers. I remember that the Rangers were still using the 90mm recoiless rifle a few years back, though.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 10:37:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2002 10:51:43 AM EDT by DaMan]
M-136 (AT-4) [url]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/at4.htm[/url] vs. RPG-7 [url]http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ambush/weapons/rpg.html[/url] I believe the RPG-16D is the latest version of the "non-disposable type" RPGs. It has several improvements over the RPG-7. But the RPG-7 is what the Taliban and al Qaeda have. They may also have the RPG-18s, which are similar to the M-72 LAW. DaMan
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 11:20:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2002 11:23:02 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
The LAW has not been replaced by AT-4, although that was the original intention. It is still in wide use in both the Army and Marine Corps. It is actually kind of odd that the guys in Afghanistan were using AT-4's. The lighter M72's are usually prefered where its unlikely a MBT or IFV would be encountered. There isnt much difference in performance between the two against rock, and one M136 (the AT-4's US designation, AT-4 is the Sweedish designation)weighs almost as much as 3 M72A2's (13.5 pounds vs 3x5.5 pounds.) The M136 has a heavier warhead designed to defeat reactive armor, which caves and bunkers dont possess. The RPG-18 mentioned above isn't just similar to the M72 it IS the M72 in a earlier version, anyone who knows how to work one can work the other without skipping a beat. The sights are the biggest difference apart from the cryillic markings. The RPG-22 is a bigger LAW. Its 82mm (closer to the AT-4's 84mm) but it operates just like the M72 scaled up. Its a purely Russian development, unlike the RPG-18 which is a blatent copy.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 2:39:59 PM EDT
RPG=Ruchnoi Protivotankovy Granatomyot or what I have been told is the translation, Hand-Held Anti-Tank Grenade Launcher. There are no M72 left in the Marine Corps, like many things there maybe some in joint ASPs, but no one is trained on them and without them being a standard issue item, no one has been doing required up keep. The army may have some still in use for SF, but their standard also is the AT4. The term M136 is a Army term, but everyone still calls them AT-4s. The AT-4 is self is nothing more than the AT warhead for the 84mm Carl Gustav, in a disposible recoiless tube. The additional "Bazooka" replacement is the Mk153 SMAW a MD produced copy of the Isreali B300. It like the Carl Gustav RAAW is also a recoiless weapon system.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 4:01:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2002 4:04:50 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
[url]http://155.217.58.58/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/3-23.25/toc.htm[/url] Still on the books in the Army. Lots still in inventory. A couple different compaines still produce them- the Israelis get theirs from a company here in the US, Canada gets them from Rauffous in Norway. They are so much lighter and so useful as pocket artillery against fortifications. Why dont the Marines keep up with them?
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 4:11:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: [url]http://155.217.58.58/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/3-23.25/toc.htm[/url] Still on the books in the Army. Lots still in inventory. A couple different compaines still produce them- the Israelis get theirs from a company here in the US, Canada gets them from Rauffous in Norway. They are so much lighter and so useful as pocket artillery against fortifications. Why dont the Marines keep up with them?
View Quote
it is not a standard issue item, the AT-4 is. Since each one is a whole round and you will find them in some ASPs, there is still data for the weapon, but that doesn't mean it is a normal issue (there is still ammo and data for item that left the invetory 20-30 years in manuals and APSs). The only people who probably still us them are SF, SEALs and Brits who use them a whole lot.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 9:47:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2002 9:55:06 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
US Infantry in Afganistan with M72 LAW (foreground, left rear) and M136 (center on back of prone rifleman). No unit patches visable but only some are armed with M4's. Probably a 10th Mountain Division unit. [img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PIcIysCoBQIAACP4RlA_1299_33.jpg[/img] US Automatic Rifleman with M249 in Afghanistan, unit unidentified (but has remains of unit patch on right arm). What appears to be the top of a M72 is visable just behind his left elbow. [img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PIcGlcCoBQIAACP0Kec_1299_32.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 1:30:42 AM EDT
That isn't a LAW, that is a Mk153 SMAW. Those are Marines, the guy on the bottom has duck tape on his cammies, probably a quick patch job.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 3:31:42 AM EDT
I with ArmdLbrl on this one. In the first picture, the squatting troop (probably a Marine) has a LAW sitting on the ground in front of him. The Kneeling one to the left does appear to be carrying a SMAW. In the second, the SAW gunner appears to have a LAW slung on his back. You used to be able to tell Marines from soldiers in the field by the fact that Marines never wore helmet bands, but that apears to have changed in recent years. The shotgun is also a giveaway, because you generally only see these in MP units in the Army (and they usually look like they are from the 19th Century, at that).
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 4:37:43 AM EDT
Nope, those are AT-4's. We quit training on the LAW in the 101st in 1992. That's nearly ten years ago. The command directive was that no training on the LAW was to take place and that all training LAWs (the empty tubes) were to be turned in. The reason was the 18th Airborne Corps was all AT-4. As for whatever precieved advantage a LAW would have over an AT-4, the fact is the military brings what it has to war. The unit in combat went to AT-4's a decade ago (I was in it). Their supply requisitions for ammo are already drawn up for deployment. All you do is drop them in the system when you deploy. All the ammo they bring to war is already packed up and ready to go, and all the follow-on ammo is identified and ready to go. They are using AT-4s in Afghanistan because that's what they have. As for the pictures, the top one can be identified as a SMAW on the left because of the pistol grip. The guy laying down has an AT-4, which can be identified by the larger diameter and length of the tube. The AT-4 doesn't extend/retract like the law. The tube is longer and wider (84mm vs 66mm) than the LAW and has unique end caps. The yellow band around the circumference of the tube is another dead giveaway. All of this is visible in the picture. It's an AT-4, no doubt about it. As for the guy with the SAW in the lower picture, I venture to guess that it's also an AT-4 because of the endcap (aside from the fact that we don't use LAWs anymore[;)]). Ross
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 10:37:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2002 11:09:40 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Ross, what about the one lying on the ground in front of the kneeling rifleman with the scoped M16A2? The picture is dated Mar 05, 2002. And everyone is wearing cold weather gear. I thought all the Marines, except for the detachment at the Embassy in Kabul, had gone home. They were replaced when the 101st came in. And that was before the weather turned cold. Also the launcher the SAW gunner is carrying has a data plate, the silver rectangle visable in the photo, right where its supposed to be for a M72 series LAW. The sling also appears to attach in the right place for that end of a law. And there are no sign of the octagonal end protectors that the AT-4 has, and its simply not long enough, none of it protrudes past the opposite side of his back. Look how long that AT-4 is on the guy who is clearly carrying one. [img]http://155.217.58.58/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/3-23.25/fig2-1.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 10:48:22 AM EDT
What manner of sight is that on the 249?
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 10:51:49 AM EDT
The only bad thing about the RPGs (at least the older Chi-Coms), was that they werent spin or timed armed like the M40 or the LAWS. When that sucker left the tube, it was hot, and would detonate on the first thing it hit, whether it be an APC at 100 meters, or a mopani branch at 3. They were relatively light and quick to reload though.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 10:53:23 AM EDT
Don't know what it is but looks too small to be a LAW. Not really sure when the picture was made, but those are Marines and not army. The 101st is all M4's and you can see MOLLE gear on vice LBVs. It got pretty cold prior the Marines leaving, remember all the Marines in the new black fleece tops seen in many pictures.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 11:07:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2002 11:08:58 AM EDT by Tuukka]
STLRN, negative, thats a 4x Litton Aquila sight. Ah, i see you deleted your response.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 11:40:42 AM EDT
http://pvtpyle.com/Weapon%20pics/Sov%20RPG%20poster.jpg
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 11:48:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 12:07:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tuukka: STLRN, negative, thats a 4x Litton Aquila sight. Ah, i see you deleted your response.
View Quote
I'm trying to find the military designation, I know they have the commercial name Aquila, but they have another designation. I thought it was the PVS-17, but that is a bit bulker. The PVS-13 looks almost the same but that is meant as a LST.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 5:24:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: Ross, what about the one lying on the ground in front of the kneeling rifleman with the scoped M16A2? The picture is dated Mar 05, 2002. And everyone is wearing cold weather gear. I thought all the Marines, except for the detachment at the Embassy in Kabul, had gone home. They were replaced when the 101st came in. And that was before the weather turned cold. Also the launcher the SAW gunner is carrying has a data plate, the silver rectangle visable in the photo, right where its supposed to be for a M72 series LAW. The sling also appears to attach in the right place for that end of a law. And there are no sign of the octagonal end protectors that the AT-4 has, and its simply not long enough, none of it protrudes past the opposite side of his back. Look how long that AT-4 is on the guy who is clearly carrying one. [img]http://155.217.58.58/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/3-23.25/fig2-1.gif[/img]
View Quote
My mistake, I thought you WERE talking about the guy laying down. I didn't even look at that thing in the hole. I wish it were a better picture, but it DOES look like a LAW. Hoepfully we can find some other pictures that have troops with LAWs. As for the second pic, reference your own diagram. In the stowed configuration, with sling (as in the picture), the LAW has a metal wire loop that is connected to the removable (front) cap on one end, and the sling on the other. You'll note where the DATA plate on the diagram is in relation to this wire connector. In the picture there is no wire connector anywhere in this area. Additionally, remember just how short a LAW is stowed (just a hair over two feet). The data plate would be close to the middle of the weapon if that were a LAW, as you are able to see a good 8-12 inches of the tube in the picture. As for it being too short to be an AT-4, since the troop isn't wearing the strap, it's not going to be hanging off him and sticking out any end. He isn't carrying it. It's probably laying on his ruck, or the ground, or whatever behind him. Unfortunately, not seeing the other end of the tube doesn't confirm that it's either weapon. One reason that I don't believe that it's a LAW is that the front end of the LAW is smooth until it reaches the end cap (reference your diagram). There is obviously a metal or plastic band on that tube. If that were the band on the rear end of the tube, then the data plate argument is void, as that would be the wrong end (and wrong side) of the weapon. The rear of the AT-4 has a band that would be in this approximate position if it were that. I think that the rectangular piece that is visible on the tube is the fold down shoulder stop on the AT-4. I could be dead wrong, but I say it's an AT-4 in the lower picture. That thing in the hole in the upper picture though sure does look like a LAW. Ross
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 2:43:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 2:57:22 PM EDT
From the pictures ive seen on msnbc when they are hitting cave holes; the AT4 looks like a hard hitter.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 3:36:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2002 3:48:12 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
This is the big picture I cut the images of the SAW gunner and the riflemen with the LAW from. [img]http://www.netsnapshot.com/users/1299/images/PIfKrsCoBQIAABFgEfQ_1299_34.jpg[/img] Its 2000 by 1340 pixils and 25.5MB so it will load slow, but it is a very good picture. Note the guy at extreme left rear with the green interceptor vest has what appears to be a M4/M203. Who are these guys? Or are we looking at TWO different units here?
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 3:46:01 PM EDT
You know what the SAW gunner has on his back is about the right size to be a round for a Mk153, MK3 Mod0.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 3:55:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By STLRN: You know what the SAW gunner has on his back is about the right size to be a round for a Mk153, MK3 Mod0.
View Quote
Yeah, that is true... darn, I was hoping this was a more recent photo.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 9:22:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2002 9:22:43 PM EDT by DvlDog]
the guy in the background of the first picture is carrying a SMAW, and the 249 gunner is carrying a round for the SMAW, those guys arent wearing unit patches because they are Marines and we started wearing helmet bands when we can find them because if you dont the friggin army will shoot you! "hey tom, i dont see any cats eyes in the NVD" "ok bill, light em up"
Top Top