SPG-9

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SPG-9
Spg 9 from libya.jpg
A Libyan SPG-9M
Type Recoilless gun
Anti-tank gun
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1962–present
Specifications
Weight 47.5 kg (105 lb)
59.5 kg (131 lb)
with the tripod[1]
Length 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) [1]
Width 99 cm (3 ft 3 in)
allowing for full weapon traverse[1]
Height 80 cm (2 ft 7 in)[1]
Crew 2 (1 gunner, 1 loader)

Caliber 73 mm (2.87 in) smoothbore[1]
Breech Interrupted screw[1]
Recoil None
Carriage Tripod
Elevation +7°/−3°
Traverse 30° total
Rate of fire 5–6 rounds per minute [1]
Muzzle velocity 250 to 435 m/s
(800 to 1,427 ft/s)
Effective firing range 800 m (875 yds)
Maximum firing range 1,200 m to 6,500 m
(1,300 to 7,100 yd)
Feed system Manually breech loaded
Sights PGO-9 optical 4× sight or
PGN-9 IR and passive night sight

The SPG-9 Kopye (Spear) is a Russian tripod-mounted man-portable, 73 millimetre calibre recoilless gun developed by the Soviet Union. It fires fin-stabilised, rocket-assisted HE and HEAT projectiles similar to those fired by the 73 mm 2A28 Grom low pressure gun of the BMP-1 armored vehicle. It was accepted into service in 1962, replacing the B-10 recoilless rifle.

Description[edit]

The projectile is launched from the gun by a small charge, which gives it an initial velocity of between 250 and 400 metres per second. The launch charge also imparts spin to the projectile by a series of offset holes. Once the projectile has travelled approximately 20 meters (65.6 feet) from the launcher a rocket motor in its base ignites. For the PG-9 projectile, this takes it to a velocity of 700 metres per second (2,296.6 feet per second) before the motor burns out.

The SPG-9 is light, and is normally transported by vehicle, and carried into position by its two crew. It can be deployed in around a minute. The weapon is in service with a large number of armed forces, and a variety of ammunition is produced, however mostly they are copies of the original Soviet PG-9 HEAT and OG-9 FRAG-HE rounds.

The SPG-9 is widely available to terrorists and maritime pirates in the Horn of Africa region, as well as in other regions to a lesser degree. It is not as popular as the RPG-7 because it has to be mounted on a vehicle or boat and cannot be easily carried and shoulder fired. The SPG-9 requires much more skill to fire accurately in comparison to the RPG-7. There have been reports of these mounted in skiffs and larger "mother ships". The SPG-9 can typically be found mounted on a wide variety of vehicles known as "technicals" in Somalia.

A variant for use with airborne troops including detachable wheels was built as the SPG-9D.

Projectiles[edit]

Round
(projectile)
Type Weight Fuze Length Explosive
content
Muzzle
velocity
Effective
range
Maximum
range
Armour
penetration
Notes
PG-9
(PG-9V)
HEAT-FS 4.39 kg VP-9 920 mm 0.322 kg
of hexogen
435 m/s 800 m 1,300 m 300 mm -
PG-9N HEAT-FS VP-9 920 mm 0.340 kg
of OKFOL-3.5 [2]
435 m/s 800 m 1,300 m 400 mm -
PG-9VS HEAT-FS 4.4 kg  ? 920 mm  ? 1,300 m  ? 400 mm -
PG-9VNT
(PG-9NT)
HEAT-FS 3.2 kg  ? 920 mm  ? 400 m/s 700 m 1,200 m 550 mm or
400 mm behind ERA
Tandem warhead
OG-9V
(OG-9)
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
O-4M
1062 mm 0.735 kg
of TNT
316 m/s - - n/a Cast iron casing
OG-9VM
(OG-9M)
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
O-4M
1062 mm 0.655 kg
of TD-50 [3]
316 m/s - - n/a -
OG-9VM1
(OG-9V)
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
O-4M
1062 mm  ? 316 m/s - 4,500 m n/a -
OG-9BG
(OG-9G)
FRAG-HE 6.9 kg O-4M  ?  ? 250 m/s - 4,000 m n/a Bulgarian made
OG-9BG1
(OG-9G1)
FRAG-HE  ? O-4M  ?  ?  ? - 6,500 m n/a Bulgarian made

Users[edit]

Romanian soldiers with an AG-9 (licensed built SPG-9) in traveling position.
A Mongolian Mobile Training Team member reviews some of the features of the SPG-9 recoilless gun, an anti-tank weapon system, with Afghan National Army soldiers prior to a live-fire weapons demonstration, Sept. 2, at the Camp Scenic weapons range near the Darulaman Infantry School in Kabul, Afghanistan. The MTT specialize in SPG-9 recoilless rifle systems and train ANA soldiers at the infantry school. Photo by Capt. Anthony Deiss.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g OPFOR Worldwide Equipment Guide, TRADOC DCSINT Threat Support Directorate, January 21, 1999
  2. ^ 95% HME 5% wax
  3. ^ TNT/dinitronaphthalene
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK6e_rw85So
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk. SPLA-N weapons and equipment, South Kordofan, December 2012. Small Arms Survey, 2013, p.9
  7. ^ Hennessey, Patrick. The Junior Officers' Reading Club. Penguin Publications, 2009, p.272
  8. ^ Kemp, Colonel Richard and Hughes, Chris, Attack State RED, Penguin Books Ltd, London, 2010, pp.325-334.

See also[edit]