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SPG-9M rus.jpeg
A Russian SPG-9M
TypeRecoilless gun
Anti-tank gun
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1962–present
WarsVietnam War
Iran–Iraq War
Salvadoran Civil War
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
Gulf War
Lebanese Civil War
Iraq War
Second Sudanese Civil War[1]
Third Sudanese Civil War
Libyan Civil Wars[2]
Northern Mali conflict
Syrian Civil War[3]
War in Donbass
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)[4][5]
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Mass47.5 kg (105 lb)
59.5 kg (131 lb)
with the tripod[6]
Length2.11 m (6 ft 11 in)[6]
Width99 cm (3 ft 3 in)
allowing for full weapon traverse[6]
Height80 cm (2 ft 7 in)[6]
Crew2 (1 gunner, 1 loader)

Caliber73 mm (2.87 in) smoothbore[6]
BreechInterrupted screw[6]
Traverse30° total
Rate of fire5–6 rounds per minute[6]
Muzzle velocity250 to 435 m/s
(800 to 1,427 ft/s)
Effective firing range800 m (875 yds)
Maximum firing range1,200 m to 6,500 m
(1,300 to 7,100 yd)
Feed systemManually breech-loaded
SightsPGO-9 optical 4× sight or PGN-9 IR and passive night sight

The SPG-9 Kopyo (Spear) is a 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.


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 traveled 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 (2,297 feet per second) before the motor burns out.

The SPG-9 is heavy (~60 kg), 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, they are mostly 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 such as 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 than 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.

Combat usage[edit]

The SPG-9 was used by both sides during the Transnistria War, with at least one combat kill: a T-64BV of Russian invading force was destroyed using an SPG.[7]


Type Weight Fuze Length Explosive
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[8]
435 m/s 800 m 1,300 m 400 mm
PG-9VS HEAT-FS 4.4 kg ? 920 mm ? 1,300 m ? 400 mm -
HEAT-FS 3.2 kg ? 920 mm ? 400 m/s 700 m 1,200 m 600 mm or
450 mm behind ERA
Tandem warhead
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
1062 mm 0.735 kg
of TNT
316 m/s n/a Cast iron casing
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
1062 mm 0.655 kg
of TD-50[9]
316 m/s n/a
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
1062 mm ? 316 m/s 4,500 m n/a
FRAG-HE 6.9 kg O-4M 1030 mm 0.750 kg 316 m/s 7,500 m n/a Bulgarian made
FRAG-HE 5.48 kg O-4M 1024 mm 0.750 kg 250 m/s 4,200 m n/a Bulgarian made


Romanian soldiers with an AG-9 (license built SPG-9) in traveling position.
A Mongolian Mobile Training Team member reviews the SPG-9 recoilless gun with Afghan National Army soldiers prior to a live-fire weapons demonstration, September 2, 2012, 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.
Forces belonging to the Iranian Navy using SPG-9. Velayat 94 military exercise

Non-state actors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sudan - Global trade, local impact: Arms Transfers to all Sides in the Civil War in Sudan" (PDF). Human Rights Watch Report. 10 (4): 24. August 1998.
  2. ^ a b Neville, Leigh (19 Apr 2018). Technicals: Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces. New Vanguard 257. Osprey Publishing. pp. 12, 35. ISBN 978-1-4728-2251-2. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  3. ^ Neville 2018, p. 37.
  4. ^ "UN accuses Saudi, UAE of funding armed groups in Yemen". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  5. ^ "Taiz - Houthi fighters battle militia in Yemen city | Editor's Pick | 18 August 16". YouTube.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g OPFOR Worldwide Equipment Guide, TRADOC DCSINT Threat Support Directorate, January 21, 1999
  7. ^ "Т-64: «танк-гарант мира» или «убийца мирного населения»?". Archived from the original on June 24, 2018.
  8. ^ 95% HME 5% wax
  9. ^ TNT/dinitronaphthalene
  10. ^ "Rounds Og-9Vg with He-Fragmentation Grenade Og-9G & Og-9G1". Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  11. ^ Bhatia, Michael Vinai; Sedra, Mark (May 2008). Small Arms Survey (ed.). Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a Post-War Society. Routledge. pp. 48, 66, 165. ISBN 978-0-415-45308-0. Archived from the original on 2018-09-01. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  12. ^ Hennessey, Patrick. The Junior Officers' Reading Club. Penguin Publications, 2009, p. 272
  13. ^ Kemp, Colonel Richard and Hughes, Chris, Attack State RED, Penguin Books Ltd, London, 2010, pp. 325–334.
  14. ^ a b c "SPG-9 (& close derivatives)" (PDF). Weapons Identification Sheet. Small Arms Survey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  15. ^ Letter dated 26 June 2014 from the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2127 (2013) addressed to the President of the Security Council (PDF). 1 July 2014. p. 81. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  16. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (2021). The Military Balance. p. 461. ISBN 9781032012278.
  17. ^ Small Arms Survey (2003). "Dangerous Supply: Small Arms and Conflict in the Republic of Georgia". Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-29. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  18. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (1993). Armies of the Gulf War. Elite 45. Osprey Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-85532-277-6.
  19. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 187.
  20. ^ Powelson, Simon J. (December 2013). "Enduring engagement yes, episodic engagement no: lessons for SOF from Mali" (PDF). Monterey, California: Naval postgraduate school. p. 24. hdl:10945/38996.
  21. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 188.
  22. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 190.
  23. ^ a b "SPLA-N weapons and equipment, South Kordofan, December 2012" (PDF). HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk. Small Arms Survey: 9. February 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  24. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 469.
  25. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 206.
  26. ^ a b Military Balance 2016, p. 491.
  27. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (10 Feb 2009). North Vietnamese Army Soldier 1958–75. Warrior 135. Osprey Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-84603-371-1.
  28. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 181.
  29. ^ a b Military Balance 2016, p. 492.
  30. ^ Small Arms Survey (2006). "Fuelling Fear: The Lord's Resistance Army and Small Arms". Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business. Oxford University Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-19-929848-8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-30. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  31. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  32. ^ Williams, Sara Elizabeth (3 April 2014). "I Learned to Fight Like an American at the FSA Training Camp in Jordan: America's Role in the Syrian Revolution". Vice News. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to SPG-9 at Wikimedia Commons