SPG-9

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SPG-9
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
2022 Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan clashes
Russo-Ukraine War
Specifications
Mass47.5 kg (105 lb)
59.5 kg (131 lb)
with tripod[6]
Length2.11 m (6 ft 11 in)[6]
Width99 cm (3 ft 3 in)
allowing full traverse[6]
Height80 cm (2 ft 7 in)[6]
Crew2 (1 gunner, 1 loader)

Caliber73 mm (2.9 in) smoothbore[6]
BreechInterrupted screw[6]
RecoilNone
CarriageTripod
Elevation+7°/−3°
Traverse30° total
Rate of fire5–6 rounds per minute[6]
Muzzle velocity250–435 m/s (820–1,430 ft/s)
Effective firing range800 m (870 yd)
Maximum firing range1,200–6,500 m (1,300–7,100 yd)
Feed systemManually breech-loaded
SightsPGO-9 optical 4× sight or PGN-9 IR and passive night sight

The SPG-9 Kopyo (Russian: СПГ-9 Копьё, transliterated Russian: Stankovyi Protivotankovyi Granatomet "Kopyo" - Heavy Antitank Grenade Launcher "Spear") is a tripod-mounted man-portable, 73 millimetre calibre recoilless gun developed by the Soviet Union. It fires fin-stabilised, rocket-assisted high explosive (HE) and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shaped charge 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 250–400 metres per second (820–1,310 ft/s). The launch charge also imparts spin to the projectile by a series of offset holes. Once the projectile has traveled approximately 20 metres (66 ft) 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 (2,300 ft/s) before the motor burns out.

The SPG-9 is heavy, ~60 kilograms (130 lb), and normally transported by vehicle, and carried into position by its two crew. It can be deployed in about 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 fragmentation (FRAG) high explosive (FRAG-HE) rounds.

The SPG-9 is widely available to terrorists and maritime pirates such as in the Horn of Africa region, and in other regions to a lesser degree. It is not as popular as the RPG-7 because it must 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 use[edit]

The SPG-9 was used by both sides during the Transnistria War.[7]

In addition to using the SPG-9 as light indirect fire artillery, members of Wagner PMC modified SPG-9 ammunition to be fired from more portable RPG-7 launchers during the Battle of Bakhmut.[8]

In mid October 2023 Israeli forces, during the 2023 Israel-Hamas War, captured a flyer produced by Hamas about destroying Merkava tanks. The flyer recommended the SPG-9 as an effective way of defeating the Israeli Trophy System designed to intercept incoming RPG or Anti-tank Guided Missiles. The SPG-9 was recommended due "simply by virtue of its projectile’s high speed".[9]

Projectiles[edit]

Round
(projectile)
Type Weight
(kg)
Fuze Length
(mm)
Explosive
content
(kg)
Muzzle
velocity
(m/s)
Effective
range
(m)
Maximum
range
(m)
Armour
penetration
(mm)
Notes
PG-9
(PG-9V)
HEAT-FS 4.39 VP-9 920 0.322
(hexogen)
435 800 1,300 300
PG-9N HEAT-FS VP-9 920 0.340
(OKFOL-3.5)[10]
435 800 1,300 400
PG-9VS HEAT-FS 4.4 ? 920 ? 1,300 ? 400 -
PG-9VNT
(PG-9NT)
HEAT-FS 3.2 ? 920 ? 400 700 1,200 600 or
450 behind ERA
Tandem-charge
OG-9V
(OG-9)
FRAG-HE 5.35 GO-2 or
O-4M
1062 0.735
(TNT)
316 n/a Cast iron casing
OG-9VM
(OG-9M)
FRAG-HE 5.35 GO-2 or
O-4M
1062 0.655
(TD-50)[11]
316 n/a
OG-9VM1
(OG-9V)
FRAG-HE 5.35 GO-2 or
O-4M
1062 ? 316 4,500 n/a
OG-9BG[12]
(OG-9G)
FRAG-HE 6.9 O-4M 1030 0.750 316 7,500 n/a Bulgarian made
OG-9BG1
(OG-9G1)
FRAG-HE 5.48 O-4M 1024 0.750 250 4,200 n/a Bulgarian made

Users[edit]

Map with SPG-9 users in blue
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]

Notes[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". YouTube. 25 August 2016.
  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. ^ Kharchencko, Aleksandr. "Artemovsk: Requiem for Bakhmut". Gofile.
  9. ^ David Axe (15 October 2023). "Hamas Distributed A Handy Guide To Destroying Israeli Tanks". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  10. ^ 95% HME 5% wax
  11. ^ TNT/dinitronaphthalene
  12. ^ "Rounds Og-9Vg with He-Fragmentation Grenade Og-9G & Og-9G1". Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Hennessey, Patrick (2009). The Junior Officers' Reading Club. Penguin Publications. p. 272.
  15. ^ Kemp, Richard (Colonel); Hughes, Chris (2010). Attack State RED. London: Penguin Books. pp. 325–334.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (2021). The Military Balance. p. 461. ISBN 9781032012278.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (1993). Armies of the Gulf War. Elite 45. Osprey Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-85532-277-6.
  21. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 187.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 188.
  24. ^ a b Military Balance 2016, p. 190.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 469.
  27. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 206.
  28. ^ a b Military Balance 2016, p. 491.
  29. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (10 Feb 2009). North Vietnamese Army Soldier 1958–75. Warrior 135. Osprey Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-84603-371-1.
  30. ^ Military Balance 2016, p. 181.
  31. ^ a b Military Balance 2016, p. 492.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ Mitzer, Stijn; Oliemans, Joost. "The Struggle For Relevance: Transnistria's Fighting Vehicles". Oryx.
  36. ^ David Axe (15 October 2023). "Hamas Distributed A Handy Guide To Destroying Israeli Tanks". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-11-12.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to SPG-9 at Wikimedia Commons