"Fly" RPG-18 grenade launcher. Deadly bite

The idea of ​​creating a "disposable" weapon is not new. The Mukha grenade launcher was far from the world's first hand rocket grenade. The palm here unconditionally belongs to Germany. In 1943, HASAG designers Hugo Schneider and Heinrich Langweiler presented their famous creation - the Panzerfaust grenade launcher, a tank killer. A novelty in all respects could be considered revolutionary. With the help of a rocket-propelled grenade equipped with a cumulative warhead, it successfully penetrated 300 mm of armor at a distance of up to 100 meters.

The famous Faustpatron - the prototype of the Fly

The idea was developed by the gunsmiths of the USA and Sweden, who in the 60s created similar systems: M-72 and Miniman. In the USSR, this topic was addressed only at the end of the 60s. The RPG-18 system (rocket-propelled anti-tank grenade, also known as the Mukha grenade launcher), which replenished the arsenal of the ground forces in the early 70s, was a joint development of the Basalt State Research and Production Enterprise near Moscow and the Tula TsKIB SOO.

American disposable grenade launcher M-72

The RPG-18 was created according to the already established scheme at that time, consisting of a launch container (it is also designed for transportation and storage) and a striking element. The launch container was equipped with a sight, a firing mechanism and was a telescopic double tube - inside the outer fiberglass tube there was another - aluminum.

Before the shot, the back cover was thrown back and the launch container was pushed as far as it will go. The lengthening was provided so that the expelling charge, after triggering, could completely burn out inside the pipe and not harm the shooter. After that, using the aiming bar with numbers 5, 10, 15 and 20, he had to aim and fire. It is worth noting that there was no need for loading, since the "Fly" was equipped at the manufacturing plant. It took several seconds to bring it into a combat position. Combat resource "Flies" - 1 shot.

In fact, the "Fly" is not a grenade launcher, but a hand-held anti-tank grenade, a non-standard weapon that, if necessary, can be used by any infantryman when, for example, an armored target appears or to destroy an enemy firing point.


The released rocket-propelled grenade weighing about 1.5 kg rushed to the target at a speed of 114 m / s. An experienced shooter could hit with a probability close to 100% an object with an armor thickness of up to 15 cm at a distance of more than 130 meters. The flight of the grenade was stabilized, thanks to special stabilizers that unfold after its departure from the container, and special holes in the bottom, due to the release of exhaust gases through them, forced the grenade to rotate, which significantly increased the accuracy of the defeat.

This weapon has a difficult fate. It was able to show its excellent qualities after it was discontinued in the early 90s. Alas, only Chechen militants were able to take full advantage of them during the notorious storming of Grozny in December 1994. It was then, with the help of RPG-18 and RPG-26 and RPG-22 grenade launchers, dozens of tanks of the Russian Army were burned. In some cases, even the "active" armor turned out to be powerless.

With the advent of a new generation of tanks, the armor-piercing resource of the RPG-18 "Fly" grenade launcher was clearly insufficient. In just 21 years, the Soviet and Russian defense industry produced about 1.5 million "Flies", which, by the way, sold well all these years abroad, in no way inferior to their foreign counterparts. The experience in its creation formed the basis for the next generation of more powerful rocket-propelled anti-tank grenades. One of the latest developments of GNPP "Basalt" is RPG-28 "Cranberry". Its powerful grenade is "in the teeth" even meter armor, covered with dynamic protection.