KBP RPO-A (Shmel) History

During the late-Cold War period (1947-1991), the Soviet Army introduced a terrifying new anti-infantry weapon known as the RPO-A "Shmel". This shoulder-fired rocket launcher, considered a flamethrower by Soviet categorization, was designed around use of several rocket types including a primary thermobaric warhead-equipped type (RPO-A). There was also an incendiary rocket introduced (RPO-Z) as well as a general smoke-generating round (RPO-D). The series was introduced during the late 1980s and saw first-actions in the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989), both Chechen Wars, and - more recently - in the ongoing Syrian Civil War (beginning 2011) and the War in Donbass (versus Ukraine).

The RPO-A was used to succeed the aging, outgoing line of flame-oriented RPO "Rys" launchers then in circulation.

The Shmel continues in service today and fires a 93mm caliber, 700mm long rocket from a shoulder-fired launch tube measuring 920mm out to an effective range of 200 meters. Minumum range is 20 meters and maximum range reaches out to 1,000 meters (though sighting is only up to 600 meters). The system weighs 11 kilograms and consists of the launch tube (with integral optics set and trigger unit), the spin-stabilized rocket and a launching canister component.

The RPO-M "Shmel-M" (PDM-A) is a modernized form of 2006 and differs in its 90mm caliber, 940mm length, and 8. 8kg weigh load. The MRO-A is a disposable compact form of 72. 5mm caliber with simple iron sights. The MGK "Bur" is a compact grenade-type weapon system of 62mm caliber based on the RPO-M.

The Shmel rocket launcher series is used (or has been used) by elements in Belarus, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia (as well as the former Soviet Union), Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Syria. The former Yugoslavia is a former operator of the series.

KBP RPO-A (Shmel) Specification

ROLES

- Specialized Role

STRUCTURAL

Overall Length:

920 mm (36. 22 in)

Barrel Length:

920 mm (36. 22 in)

Weight (Unloaded):

24. 25 lb (11. 00 kg)

Sights:

Iron or Integrated Optics Set.

PERFORMANCE

Action:

Shoulder-Fired; Rocket-Propelled

Muzzle Velocity:

410 feet-per-second (125 meters-per-second)

Rate-of-Fire:

4 rounds-per-minute

Effective Range:

1,970 ft (600 m; 657 yd)

VARIANTS

RPO-A "Shmel" - Base Series Name; 93mm caliber; thermobaric rocket warhead.

RPO-Z - Incendiary rocket warhead.

RPO-D - Smoke rocket warhead.

RPO-M "Shmel-M" (RPO PDM-A) - Modernized version of 2006; 90mm caliber; improved rocket and general performance.

MRO-A - Compact form; 72. 5mm caliber; disposable.

MGK "Bur" - Compact grenade launcher; 62mm caliber.

Related stuff

1400 1514 1587 1765 1774 1775 1776 1782 1785 1786 1791 1797 1811 1813 1819 1840 1841 1842 1852 1853 1855 1856 1857 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1873 1874 1875 1877 1878 1885 1886 1888 1889 1895 1896 1897 1898 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Contact