Conflict Armament Research has recently published a short but very comprehensive report detailing the craft produced anti-armor/personal launchers that we reported on in May of 2017. The findings that CAR has come up with are quite revealing about the launchers themselves, in addition to how the terrorist group conducted itself through manufacturing armaments and in utilizing these at the front. I would highly encourage readers to look through the original report, but if you don’t have time, we’ll highight some of the key findings here.
The type of ammunition used are mostly 73mm PG-9 rockets, originally intended for the Soviet SPG-9 recoilless rifle. In addition to the PG-9 rockets, there are also PG-7 rockets that were found to be loaded inside the IS launchers. The launchers are single shot use, and can be disposed of. This is because of the complex method of attaching the factory rounds to the inside of the tube. Another important fact about them is that it appears that IS wanted a shorter launcher that could be fired from the inside of a room without the backblast severely hurting the guys inside of that room. Such as would be the case with the already unwieldy SPG-9 or a common RPG.
Of particular note here is that these launchers are almost the IS equivalent of a U.S. AT4 or M72 LAW single shot, and disposable anti-armor launcher. Even down to the collapsible pistol grip and the instructions printed on the side of the rocket instructing users how to fire it. There even is a gentle reminder at the end of some of the instructions to “Please return the launcher after firing”.
Another note about the launchers is that as the fight against IS dragged on into the deepest parts of Mosul, the production quality of the launchers went down, until the group’s capacity to produce them became impossible. Very similar to numerous other “Last Ditch” models (Japanese Type 99s come to mind).
And in an odd twist of irony, what appears to be the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units manufacturing arm, the TDMP, is manufacturing a very similar variant of launcher to what Iraqi troops had just been previously faced with.