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Shmel

PDMAShmel

RPO-A Shmel
Country of origin

Soviet Union

Manufacturer(s)

KBP Instrument Design Bureau

Year(s) designed

1980s

Production began

Late 1980s

Weapon type

Thermobaric rocket launcher

Caliber
  • RPO-A: 93mm
  • RPO PDM-A: 90mm
Overall length

36.2 inches (92 centimeters)

Weight
  • RPO-A: 24.3 pounds (11 kilograms)
  • RPO PDM-A: 19.4 pounds (8.8 kilograms)
Weight empty
  • RPO-A: 19.6 pounds (8.9 kilograms)
  • RPO PDM-A: 12.3 pounds (5.6 kilograms)
Magazine/Cylinder capacity

Single shot

Cyclic rate

Disposable

Maximum effective range
  • RPO-A: 1000 meters (3280.8 feet)
  • RPO PDM-A: 1700 meters (5577.4 feet)

The RPO-A Shmel (Шмель, meaning "Bumblebee") is a Soviet thermobaric rocket launcher.

HistoryEdit

The RPO-A entered service in the late 1980s and completely replaced the RPO Rys rocket launcher.

Design DetailsEdit

The RPO-A behaves like certain RPGs, such as the RPG-18 and the M72 LAW. The launcher is basically a sealed tube carried by a team of two; one person can remove the tube, get the launcher in a firing position and launch the weapon without any assistance. After launch, the weapon is discarded.

AmmunitionEdit

The RPO-A uses three types of rockets; the RPO-A thermobaric rocket, the RPO-Z (Zazhigatel'nyy, зажигательный, meaning "Incendiary") incendiary rocket or the RPO-D (Dymovoy, дымовой, meaning "Smoke") smoke-producing rocket.

VariantsEdit

RPO PDM-A Shmel-M

Modernized version firing a smaller caliber rocket.

MGK Bur

Smaller, reusable variant.

TriviaEdit

  • Despite it being a technically rocket launcher, it is considered a flamethrower in Russia.



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