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5 January 2001
Thermobaric warhead for RPG-7

Terry Gander

Bulgaria has recently developed the GTB-7G grenade with a thermobaric warhead, introducing the potential to expand the basic RPG-7 Knut (Knout) portable rocket launcher into a true multipurpose weapon.
The thermobaric warhead utilizes an advanced form of the fuel-air explosive concept.

The contents of the 93mm diameter warhead are scattered in an aerosol form on impact and then ignited to create a rapidly-formed, high-pressure blast wave, equivalent to that produced by the detonation of 2kg of TNT.

The blast effect is such that significant damage can be inflicted on structures, including field fortifications, and lightly armored vehicles.

When launched from an RPG-7 the GTB-7G grenade has a maximum direct-fire range of 200m, with an initial velocity of 66m/sec (the maximum possible range is 1,000m). The grenade weighs 4.7kg and is 1.12m long. It can be utilized with any RPG-7 launcher once the necessary sight adjustments have been made.

Other recently developed alternative warhead grenades for the fin-stabilized rocket have included variations of anti-personnel HE-FRAG.

The manufacturers are the Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi (Vazov Engineering Plant), based at Sopot.

The RGP-7 rocket launcher is in worldwide use and the GTB-7G grenade is now on offer for export.

The Bulgarian GTB-7G rocket grenade on the left reveals its long domed thermobaric warhead. On the right is an OG-7VE grenade with an anti-personnel HE-FRAG warhead, also from Bulgaria. (Source: Terry J Gander)


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