ENERGA anti-tank rifle grenade
Energa as depicted in U.S. test report
|Type||Antitank Rifle Grenade|
|Place of origin||Belgium|
|Wars||Korean War, South African Border War|
|Muzzle velocity||75 m/s|
|Maximum firing range||550 m (maximum)
200 m (effective)
|Filling weight||314 g|
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.
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.
The original Energa grenade could penetrate 200 mm (7.8 inches) of armor 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. The Super Energa could penetrate up to 275 mm (10.8 inches) of armor and 600 mm (23.6 inches) of concrete.
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. 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.
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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 within the infantry platoon and attached to the waist belt and fired from Projector Mark 5 attached to 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
Performance of variants
|Energa||395 mm (15.6 in)||645 g (22.8 oz)||331 g (11.7 oz) RDX & TNT||200 mm (7.9 in)||300 m (330 yd)||100 m (110 yd)|
|Super Energa||425 mm (16.7 in)||765 g (27.0 oz)||314 g (11.1 oz) PETN||275 mm (10.8 in)||550 m (600 yd)||200 m (220 yd)|
|Denel R1M1||about 425 mm (16.7 in)||720 g (25 oz)||? g RDX & Wax||275 mm (10.8 in)||375 m (410 yd)||75 m (82 yd)|
|Super ENERGA Cut-Away|
|Cutaway drawing shows rocket-assist and unique safety flash-barrier design in the base that prevents detonation even if dropped on nose|
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