We have heard so much about this little monster since the war on terror began that it is almost a common household word for us. We see it on the movies and military documentaries. Well now you are about to get a lesson from the military ring man on exactly what this little monster is and the damage that it can do.
First of all lets start with the name. The Rocket Propelled Grenade is a hand held, shoulder launched, anti-tank weapon which fires a grenade that explodes on contact. The grenade is actually a shaped charge which is launched to its target. It fires either an HE (high explosive) or HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) round. The difference between the two rounds is that the HEAT round has a shaped charge in front that causes a very hot stream of gases to be expelled forward on contact. These gases form a penetrating force which is concentrated in a very small area. This concentration of force is what gives the RPG its power against armor. The HE round is a high explosive round which is designed to shatter on impact and send fragments of metal flying off in all directions. This round is designed to kill people rather than tanks.
The advantages of the RPG is that it is cheaply made, highly effective at close range, easy to use, easy to make, and extremely durable. The biggest disadvantage of this weapon is that it is only accurate at close range. An effective way to use this weapon is to fire a number of them simultaneously.
This weapon is Russian made and has been around since WWII. The origional version was called the RPG II. The version in use now is called the RPG 7.