Russia Accuses US of Copying its RPG-7 Grenade Launcher, Supplying it to Ukraine

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  • 11:46 AM, May 13, 2019
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Russia Accuses US of Copying its RPG-7 Grenade Launcher, Supplying it to Ukraine
Copycat? US-made PSRL-1 and Russian RPG-7 grenade launchers


Russia has accused the United States of copying its RPG-7 grenade launcher, calling it the PSRL-1 multipurpose grenade launcher and supplying it to the Ukrainian national guard.

PSRL-1 multipurpose grenade launchers handed over by Washington to Kiev and tested by the Ukrainian national guard for the first time were copied from the Russian grenade launcher RPG-7, a source in the Russian defense industry told TASS news agency on Saturday.

"PSRL-1 grenade launchers tested by Ukraine are unlicensed copies of the Russian RPG-7 grenade launchers and were manufactured without full conformity to the production process. Thus, this specimen of weapons cannot supported stated characteristics in full scope," the source says.

The launcher lifetime is one of key characteristics of the grenade launcher, the source notes. "The RPG-7 launcher is designed for one thousand firings and can actually operate by 20-30% more. Certain doubts arise in respect of announced durability of the PSRL-1 because its launcher is made of lighter materials," he adds.

The source described the Picatinny rail (MIL-STD-1913) fitted on the PSRL-1 as a “tribute to fashion”, stating that it is not possible to mount any sight on the grenade launcher because its attachment will be quickly broken down by strong recoil. The Ukrainian national guard informed on Saturday about tests of the PSRL-1 grenade launcher developed by the US-based AirTronics USA.

Information posted AirTronics website describes the weapon as ‘Airtronic’s Redesigned and Completely USA Manufactured Version of the World’s Most Widely Used Anti-Tank Weapon, the RPG-7, the PSRL Offers Machined, Not Cast, Tubing Made from 4140/4150 Ordnance Grade Steel. System Offers Ergonomic Upgrades that users of the M-16/M-4 Rifles are familiar with.’

In December 2017, the Ukrainian defense trade company Spetstechnoexport announced that it worked with the American company AirTronic, based in Spring Branch, Texas, to supply PSRL-1 weapons systems to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. An October 2016 press release from AirTronic said, “A recent $5.5 million contract award originating from an Allied European military customer for their Precision Shoulder-fired Rocket Launcher (PSRL) and system-supporting accessories.”


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