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How Ukraine Uses Obsolete Soviet Grenades To Destroy Russian Tanks

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An affordable Soviet weapon has been tailored to drone warfare to destroy beneficial Russian armor.

Ukrainian fighters have discovered a brand new use for outdated grenades that’s proving spectacularly efficient at destroying Russian tanks and different armored autos.

This picture launched by Aerorozvidka, a company that develops Ukraine’s use of small drones in warfare, reveals a Ukrainian-made octocopter drone with two bomblets mounted beneath it. Movies just lately launched by Aerorozvidka present what seems to be the identical, tail-finned explosives being dropped by drone earlier than destroying armored autos with catastrophic explosions.

Weapons trackers following the battle in Ukraine have recognized the bomblets as modified Soviet-era RKG-3 anti-tank grenades with 3D-printed tail fins connected to stabilize their fall from drones.

The RKG-3 (pictured) is an anti-tank grenade designed within the Soviet Union that was first launched in 1950. The weapon is the scale and weight of a slender bottle of wine and made to be thrown by hand at enemy armored autos.

The grenade incorporates a drogue parachute (seen at proper inside this museum cutout), that springs out when thrown to make sure the grenade hits the goal fuze-first. On impression, the RKG-3 detonates a formed cost (demonstrated in yellow on this cutout) that fires a hypersonic slug of copper with sufficient drive to penetrate greater than 20 centimeters of armor. The burst of superheated metallic into the inside of tanks can typically result in ‘catastrophic’ explosions of the ammunition inside.

Soviet troopers coaching with dummy RKG-3 grenades in opposition to a tank close to at present’s St. Petersburg in 1978.

Though remarkably efficient on impression, the RKG-3 required near-suicidal proximity to enemy autos, and when rocket-propelled Soviet anti-tank weapons such because the RPG-7 entered service within the Nineteen Sixties, fighters have been in a position to hit enemy armor from a whole bunch of meters away. The dangerous, hand-thrown RKG-3 grew to become largely out of date.

A uncommon picture reveals a Chechen fighter armed with an RKG-3 grenade within the heart of Grozny throughout the first Chechen warfare in 1995.

Regardless of the grenade being the main focus of a well-known scene within the 2014 film American Sniper, the RKG-3 has solely hardly ever been seen in current conflicts. The weapon final hit the information in 2006 after they have been proven in use by Al-Qaeda militants in opposition to U.S. armor in Iraq — assaults that highlighted the weapon’s collateral dangers.

Ukrainian servicemen prepare with drones earlier than the 2022 Russian invasion. The boys are viewing a display screen exhibiting real-time video feed from an octocopter, whereas a tripod-mounted transmitter communicates with the drone.

Though Russian forces have the know-how for jamming drone controls, movies launched by Aerorozvidka present that in a number of circumstances, drone pilots have been in a position to destroy autos price at the very least a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} with explosives which can be estimated to price lower than $100.

The brand new growth in low-cost drone warfare could pose an growing drawback for Russian armor parked anyplace close to Ukrainian positions.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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