Belarus developing new RPG

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BLACKEAGLE

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Key Points
  • Belarus' BSVT is developing a new type of RPG launcher
  • It is understood the weapon will be manufactured in partnership with Russia
Belarussian company Belspetsvneshtechnika (BSVT) is developing a new rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, IHS Jane's understands.

The new weapon system has been developed off the back of the Nash-Shab (Hashim) RPG-32, originally developed in the mid-2000s by Russian company Bazalt and Jordan's KADDB through the JRESCO joint venture. The new weapon system will retain much of the ergonomics of the RPG-32, while being intended to offer significant improvements over the older system in terms of specifications and capability. As such the system will feature an expendable missile container and a reusable sighting and control unit.

BSVT initially showed a 1:2 scale mock-up of the new RPG at MILEX-2014 in Minsk in June, providing no details or supporting information on the system at that time, but has now done so. IHS Jane's understands that the development process of the weapon is now complete, with trials already undertaken.

It is understood that the new RPG, as yet unnamed, will typically be armed with a 105 mm RPG weighing 4-7 kg and capable of penetrating 700-800 mm of armour, after explosive reactive armour (ERA). The weapons aiming range is claimed to be 750 m, supported by a newly developed electronic sighting system. It is also expected that the weapon system will be capable of firing rounds of various calibres, like the RPG-32. The new RPG's round is understood to have a velocity of 140-160 m/s, roughly 30 m/s faster than the RPG-32s. The visual and noise signature of the new RPG is also understood to be lower than the RPG-32s.

Speaking to IHS Jane's , Vladimir Korenkov, former general director and general director of Bazalt said: "The RPG-32 is based on a combat philosophy, which is 10 years old. According to data revealed by BSVT, the power of the shaped charge and thermobaric warhead of the new grenade launcher is probably 15-20% higher." Korenkov is currently director and founder of the Special Equipment Research and Production Centre of the Moscow-based Bauman State Technical University (MGTU).

The company is understood to be working on developing new warheads, including fragmentation and themobaric warheads, for the new RPG. These new round designs may then be modified for use from the RPG-32 and RPG-29 systems. The new Belorussian RPG is also intended to be of a modular design - enabling it to use components from similar weapon systems.

The mock-up shown by BSVT has a novel fin arrangement and also an unusually small precursor charge for triggering ERA. Korenkov noted to IHS Jane's that the small precursor "may mean that the Belarusians have optimised the warhead taking into account the existing types of ERA".

IHS Jane's understands that Belarus may be looking to form a Russo-Belorussian joint venture for the development and manufacture of the new RPG by the end of 2014 - mirroring the Russo-Jordanian development of the RPG-32. Commenting on this, Korenkov said that "the supposed co-operation between the Russian and Belorussian companies will proceed in the format established by the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation and Russian law."

Belarus developing new RPG - IHS Jane's 360
 
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