The Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack on the Punjab Police’s Intelligence headquarters in Mohali has brought the weapon into focus.
What is the Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG)?
- The RPG is a weapon of Soviet origin, and its initials stand for Rucknoy Peotivotankovvy Granaromyot, which roughly translated means a handheld anti-tank grenade launcher.
- It is a portable, shoulder fired weapon, which is easy to operate and can cause widespread damage whether used in an anti-personnel mode, against armoured vehicles or against buildings.
- There are different versions of the RPG which are designed as per the usage of the weapon with varying capacity of the warhead, effective range and penetration levels.
What are the origins of the RPG?
- The origins of RPG lie in the various conflicts that have taken place in modern military warfare, dating back to World War I.
- There have been various such handheld weapons developed by western military powers, but the most prolific of these has been the RPG, which has made its presence felt in almost every major insurgency or terrorism-affected region in the world.
- The Soviet-origin RPGs have been used extensively in the Vietnam conflict as well as in conflicts in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and even closer home, in Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces in J&K have, in the past, recovered RPGs from slain terrorists, and have also found evidence of its use.
What kind of RPG was used in Mohali police attack?
On first look, it resembles an RPG PG-22 Netto version. This kind of RPG consists of a front-loading tube from which it is fired. It can inflict severe damage upto 200 metres of range, with a total effective range of 250 metres. The projectile can penetrate 400 mm of armour, 1.2 metres of brick or 1 metre of concrete.