ENERGA anti-tank rifle grenade

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Super Energa
Energa rifle grenade.png
Energa as depicted in U.S. test report
Type Antitank Rifle Grenade
Place of origin  Belgium
Service history
Wars Korean War, South African Border War
Production history
Designer Edgar Brandt[1]
Manufacturer Mecar SA
Specifications (HEAT-RFL-75)
Weight 765 g
Length 425 mm
Diameter 75 mm

Muzzle velocity 75 m/s
Maximum firing range 550 m (maximum)
200 m (effective)
Filling PETN
Filling weight 314 g[2]

The Energa anti-tank rifle grenade is a rifle-launched anti-tank grenade that is propelled by a ballistite-filled blank cartridge. The name Energa comes from the firm in Liechtenstein that designed it, the Anstalt für die ENtwicklung von ERfindungen und Gewerblichen Anwendungen, based in Vaduz.[3]

First produced in the 1950s, by Mecar in Belgium, it was in front-line use by European armies until replaced by disposable tube-launched anti-tank rockets such as the M72 LAW. Although no longer in production, stocks of the grenade still exist and the Energa grenade remains in service with Third World countries. Denel Munition of South Africa manufactured the R1M1, an improved version of the Energa grenade.[4]

The original Energa grenade could penetrate 200 mm (7.8 inches) of armor[5][6][7] or 500 mm (19.6 inches) of concrete at an angle of impact of 90 degrees. At an angle of impact of 45 degrees, the figures dropped to 100 mm (3.9 inches) and 250 mm (9.8 inches), respectively.

The Super Energa used a rocket booster to extend the grenade's range to 550 meters.[8] The Super Energa could penetrate up to 275 mm (10.8 inches) of armor and 600 mm (23.6 inches) of concrete.

ENERGA grenade. The blue paint signifies an inert training version

US Service[edit]

Early in the Korean War, U.S. forces found their World War II-era anti-tank rifle grenades were ineffective against the frontal armor of T-34 tanks. This led the U.S. to produce their own version of the Energa, the M28 rifle grenade, from 1950 until 1960.[9][10] Originally the M28 was fired from Mecar's proprietary T119 (M1 Garand) and T120 (M1 Carbine) launchers. The T119 was soon replaced by the improved M7A3 launcher (M1 Garand) from September 1952 onwards. The M29 TP (Training Practice) round remained in service until it was replaced in 1961 by the improved M31 TP. The M28 was eventually replaced in US military service by the M31 HEAT rifle grenade and the M72 LAW rocket.

UK Service[edit]

In British service, the Energa was known as the Anti-Tank Grenade, No. 94 (ENERGA). It was designed to be fired from the Projector (No. 4 Rifle) Mark 5 (c.1952), an attachment for the Lee-Enfield No.4 Rifle. The later L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle could also fire the Energa, but it was not commonly done. It was made obsolete by the adoption of the 84mm L14A1 Medium Anti-tank Weapon (MAW) and the 66mm M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW).

The Energa was introduced to infantry units of the British Army of the Rhine from 1952 when it replaced the PIAT. It was issued one per person and attached to the waist belt and fired from the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Rifle. Still in use within some units of the Territorial Army to the early 1960s and fired from the L1A1 Self-loading Rifle.

South African service[edit]

The South African 75mm R1M1 version was used during the South African involvement in Angola during the 1970s and 1980s. It was launched from standard R1 (FN-FAL) rifles.[4]

Indian service[edit]

Indian-trained Bangladeshi Commandos used the Energa during Operation Jackpot[11]

Performance of variants[edit]

Variant Length Weight Explosive fill Armor
penetration (est.)
Maximum
Range
Effective
Range
Energa 395 mm (15.55 inches / 1.29 ft.) 645 g (1.43 lbs.) 331 g (0.73 lbs.) RDX & TNT 200 mm (7.87 inches) 300 m (984.25 ft.) 100 m (328 ft.)
Super Energa 425 mm 765 g (1.68 lbs.) 314 g (0.69 lbs.) PETN 275 mm 550 m 200 m
Denel R1M1 ~ 425 mm 720 g  ? g RDX & Wax 275 mm 375 m 75 m
External images
Super ENERGA Cut-Away
Cut-Away shows rocket-assist and unique safety flash-barrier design in the base that prevents detonation even if dropped on nose

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CIPO - Patent - 696334". Brevets-patents.ic.gc.ca. 1964-10-20. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  2. ^ "OrData - Data Details". Ordatamines.maic.jmu.edu. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Energa AT rifle granade". Wk2ammo.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  4. ^ a b Heitman, Helmoed-Römer (1988). South African arms & armour: a concise guide to armaments of the South African army, navy, and air force. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. ISBN 0-86977-637-1. 
  5. ^ Copyright 2001-2005 Inert-Ord.Net. "U.S. Rifle Grenades, WWII & After". Inert-Ord.net. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ LEXPEV. "Nr4 heat". Lexpev.nl. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  8. ^ JIW, p.429.
  9. ^ "Popernack Books and Militaria - Library". Popernack.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  10. ^ "Tests Of Energa Anti-Tank Rifle Grenades". Oai.dtic.mil. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  11. ^ "Operation Jackpot - Part 1". Defenceforumindia.com. 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

(JIW) Ian Hogg. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1984-85, London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1984.

External links[edit]