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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
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
Gulf War
Lebanese Civil War
Iraq War
Libyan Civil War[1]
Northern Mali conflict
Syrian Civil War[2]
War in Donbass
Iraq Civil War (2014–present)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)[3][4]
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015-present)
Conflict in Najran, Jizan and Asir
Weight47.5 kg (105 lb)
59.5 kg (131 lb)
with the tripod[5]
Length2.11 m (6 ft 11 in)[5]
Width99 cm (3 ft 3 in)
allowing for full weapon traverse[5]
Height80 cm (2 ft 7 in)[5]
Crew2 (1 gunner, 1 loader)

Caliber73 mm (2.87 in) smoothbore[5]
BreechInterrupted screw[5]
Traverse30° total
Rate of fire5–6 rounds per minute[5]
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 Kopye (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 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, 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 peacekeepers was destroyed using an SPG.[6]


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[7]
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 550 mm or
400 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[8]
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 (licensed 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, 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. ^ 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 9781472822512.
  2. ^ Neville 2018, p. 37.
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8kYvGMUaVs
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKfs_whXnis
  5. ^ a b c d e f g OPFOR Worldwide Equipment Guide, TRADOC DCSINT Threat Support Directorate, January 21, 1999
  6. ^ http://otvaga2004.ru/tanki/istoriya-sozdaniya/t-64-tank-ubijca-mirnogo-naseleniya/ (in Russian)
  7. ^ 95% HME 5% wax
  8. ^ TNT/dinitronaphthalene
  9. ^ http://universal-dsg.com/product/rounds-og-9vg-with-he-fragmentation-grenade-og-9g-og-9g1/
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Small Arms Survey (2003). "Dangerous Supply: Small Arms and Conflict in the Republic of Georgia" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied. Oxford University Press.
  12. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (1993). Armies of the Gulf War. Elite 45. Osprey Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 9781855322776.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Military Balance 2017
  16. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (10 Feb 2009). North Vietnamese Army Soldier 1958–75. Warrior 135. Osprey Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 9781846033711.
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK6e_rw85So
  18. ^ HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk. SPLA-N weapons and equipment, South Kordofan, December 2012. Small Arms Survey, 2013, p. 9.
  19. ^ Hennessey, Patrick. The Junior Officers' Reading Club. Penguin Publications, 2009, p. 272
  20. ^ Kemp, Colonel Richard and Hughes, Chris, Attack State RED, Penguin Books Ltd, London, 2010, pp. 325–334.
  21. ^ "Puissante contre-offensive de l'Etat islamique dans le désert syrien". France Soir (in French). 16 October 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Small Arms Survey (2006). "Fuelling Fear: The Lord's Resistance Army and Small Arms" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business. Oxford University Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-19-929848-8.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to SPG-9 at Wikimedia Commons