RKG-3 anti-tank grenade

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RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
RKG-3 hand grenade Navy.jpg
Type Hand grenade
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1950
Weight 1.07 kg
Length 362 mm

Effective firing range 15–20 m
Filling TNT/RDX with a steel lined shaped charge with 220 mm penetration of RHA.
Filling weight 0.567 kg
Impact fuse

RKG-3 is the designation of Russian series of anti-tank hand grenades. It superseded the RPG-43, RPG-40 and RPG-6 series of grenades.


RKG stands for Ruchnaya Kumulyativnaya Granata (Handheld Shaped Charge Grenade). When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown a four-panelled drogue parachute is deployed by a spring. This parachute stabilizes the grenade in flight and ensures that the grenade strikes the target at a 90 degree angle, maximising the effect of the shaped charge. Armour penetration is 170 mm and 220 mm for steel and copper (RKG-3ЕM) conical liner versions respectively.


The RKG-3 was adopted into service in 1950. A few years later it was replaced by the RKG-3E and RKG-3EM. In early 1970s the Soviet Army replaced this grenade with the RPG-18, but many other countries and guerrilla movements are still using the RKG-3 in their armed forces. It was used extensively during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. RKG-3 grenades have also been used by Iraqi insurgents against coalition forces. On 1 June 2006, RKG-3 grenades were used in an attack on an American Humvee,[1] and RKG-3 grenades have been captured by US Marines from insurgents in Al Anbar.[2]

RKG-3 grenades have been used throughout Iraq with the majority of attacks occurring in the Baghdad region. Several other attacks have been reported north of Baghdad to include Tikrit, Bayji, and Mosul. The attacks have mainly been on the U.S. Army Stryker vehicle and the MRAP (armored vehicle) but not limited to attacks against ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles) and M1151 Up Armored HMMWVs.

RKG-3s have also been used in Samarra, Iraq against 101st Airborne, 25th Infantry, and 3rd Infantry soldiers in MRAPS and Humvees. The RKG-3 was a somewhat common weapon in Samarra during mid-2008 to early 2009. Large caches have been discovered along with training material for insurgent use.

Current TTPs (Tactics Technique and Procedures) for use of this weapon in theater is to remove the drogue chute so that the device can be thrown directly at the side or rear of a vehicle.

This variant is mentioned and featured in one of the scenes of the 2014 Motion Picture American Sniper, a dramatized account of the life and work of U.S. Navy Seal Marksman Chris Kyle (1974 - 2013).


  • RKG-3 Penetration : 150 mm RHA.
  • RKG-3Е Penetration : 170 mm RHA.
  • RKG-3EM Shaped charge liner changed to copper. Penetration: 220 mm RHA.
  • UPG-8 Training grenade
  • M79 copy produced by Yugoimport-SDPR in Serbia and Montenegro

See also[edit]




  • Hogg, Ian V. (1991). Jane's Infantry Weapons 1991-92. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0963-9. 
  • Jones, Richard D. (2005). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2005-2006. Jane's Information Group. 

External links[edit]