Iraqi PMU “Up-Scaled” RPG

    The Popular Mobilization Units or PMU of Iraq had a critical role in repelling the so-called ISIS attacks, Iran’s support for Iraq in the confrontation of Daesh/ISIS included weapons and military expertise (please note that there are PMU in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen so we have to clarify which PMU we refer to, even though all of them are backed by Iran).

    As indicated by former Iraqi Vice President Nuri al-Maliki. “The popular crowd stopped the progress of terrorists and prevented the collapse of the army and the fall of Baghdad. Without Iranian support, the situation in Iraq would have been very difficult,” he said. This Iranian support is serious and quick in pointing out that “Iran has supported Iraq to the extent of withdrawing arms from some Iranian military units and stores to supply Iraq in their fight against ISIS”.

    According to Nuri al-Maliki, Iran is the only country that stood with Iraq after the battle of Mosul in his reference to be “proud of the Iranians’ support to the Iraqis because they were the only ally who stood by Iraq in the face of Daesh and al-Qaeda, noting that the other friends/allies whom we had relations with, did not provide us any support “.

    The Iranian support did not stop at just offering weapons and military expertise but it included machinery as well (you will notice how in the pictures).

    The Weapon

    In January 2017, the PMU announced their production of an enlarged scale of the RPG-7. At first sight, you might think its an improvised copy of the Russian RPG-16 (a variant of the 40mm RPG-7 but in 58mm) but it’s not due to several differences.  It is probably safer to say that it is a blend between the RPG-7 and the RPG-16.

    The launcher appears to be made from a single tube.  No threading or screw grooves seem to connect the parts together – except for the rear exhaustion nozzle (which is a separate part assembled to the whole launcher).  Compare this to the RPG-16 launcher which can be quickly taken down and is comprised of two barrels.

    The propelled grenade is an enlarged version of the RPG-7’s projectile and looks almost identical to it except that it has no rocket booster. The RPG-16’s warhead has the same caliber of the barrel which is loaded entirely inside the barrel, unlike the PG-2 and PG-7.

    The fire control unit – the mechanism- is similar to the RPG-7 which is a mechanical ignition trigger unlike the electric ignition trigger of the RPG-16.

    The rocket motor has 12 venturi nozzles/holes while in the PG-7 there are only 8.

    There is no confirmed information about the warhead’s payload weight.  According to manufacturers, it’s from 2x to 2.5x the PG-7’s load. The range is still unknown yet due to the absence of information about the mass and the material of the rocket propellant charge.

    The launcher has 2 iron sights with no scope mounts visibie.

    Finally, this is not an improvised cheap weapon that is made by a lathe underground, it might be a reverse engineering but with a very advanced machinery, note the machine in the picture.

    Marawan Maklad

    Marawan Maklad is an Egyptian firearms and ammunition designer working for Turkish company specializing in the hunting and defense industries, and a dedicated researcher in asymmetric conflicts arms and tactics.