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The RPG-7 (Russian: Реактивный Противотанковый Гранатомёт, Reaktivnyi Protivotankovyj Granatomjët, "Propelled Anti-tank Grenade Launcher") is a widely-produced, portable, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade weapon.
The RPG-7 is a Soviet era portable anti-tank rocket launcher. The rocket-propelled grenade ammunition used in the RPG include HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank), tandem-charge warheads (one charge to break reactive armor and one to pierce the tank's armor), a fragmentation warhead, and a thermobaric warhead. The RPG-7 negates most of its recoil by having the projectile reach maximum velocity after it has been launched; for this reason, the RPG-7 cannot be fired from the prone position. The weapon's single-shot capacity, slow reload time, backblast, and explosive ammunition, makes it unsuitable for indoor or close-quarters combat. It is very noisy and the rocket has a travel time, making it unsuitable for use as an antipersonnel weapon.
The RPG-7 is a relatively simple anti-tank weapon. The device consists of a long tube with a firing trigger grip and a front stabilizing handgrip. At the tip of the muzzle a rocket-propelled grenade is mounted. This design traces its history back to the Bazooka-like "Panzerschrek" and disposable "Panzerfaust" throwaway rocket launchers used by Germany in World War II, only the RPG-7 was designed to be both light and reloadable. The RPG-7V, the first model of the weapon, has a maximum, effective range of between 300-500 meters and has a very light carry weight, favorable for most light infantry units.
Though light, the RPG-7V is not as widely used with the Russian forces as it once was. The newer RPG-18 and RPG-22 (both Russian) disposable LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon) rocket systems are far cheaper to carry and maintain than the older, reusable RPG-7V. This is due the fact that the older RPG-7V was developed prior to the US M72 LAW disposable anti-tank launcher program, and as soon as the then-Soviet Army realized the practicality of such throwaway weapons, the RPG-7V was on its way out. Still, many such weapons can be found in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world.
Despite their age and relatively simple targeting systems (the original RPG-7 has iron sights unlike what is seen in the picture above, while some of the later RPG-7V have simple glass sights, though current Russian versions now have IR and night vision attachments), they are still reliable in use.
In 1964, GRU soldiers, deployed in the Krasnogorje mountains of Tselinoyarsk, were often armed with RPG-7s. FOX operative Naked Snake later used the RPG-7 in battle against GRU Colonel Volgin and the nuclear-armed Shagohod tank. Although the weapon initially proved ineffective against the Shagohod's thick armor, a weakness was exposed after the rear section of the tank was torn away, upon receiving heavy damage on a C3-laden bridge, which was then exploited by Snake. It was also used by Snake earlier to save Major Ocelot from falling debris of the Shagohod hangar's ruins after the latter foolishly drove ahead of Snake. Snake also utilized the RPG-7 on Volgin to land the decisive blow during their final fight.
- Main article: San Hieronymo Incident
|Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]|
Several renegade soldiers, participating in the 1970 takeover of the San Hieronymo Peninsula, Colombia, were armed with RPG-7s. A resistance group, led by Naked Snake were also able to procure the weapon for themselves. Snake used the RPG-7 in an attempt to prevent the launch of the newly-developed Metal Gear, ultimately dealing sufficient damage to knock it off course.
|Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.|
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
Peace Sentinel, a rogue CIA unit involved in the Peace Walker project in Costa Rica, were armed with RPG-7s. Big Boss's mercenary unit, the Militaires Sans Frontières, eventually managed to procure their own RPG-7 weapons system while holding off several Peace Sentinel soldiers while Snake fought Peace Walker. They also managed to procure designs for one of its predecessors, the RPG-2.
- Main article: Outer Heaven Uprising
In 1995, the RPG-7V, was used by FOXHOUND operative Solid Snake in Outer Heaven, during Operation Intrude N313. Snake was provided with the weapon by local Resistance member Jennifer, after successfully rescuing many of the POWs imprisoned within the fortress. The RPG-7V was required to destroy the Bloody Brad cyberoids, due to their invulnerability to conventional arms, and was the only weapon that proved effective against Outer Heaven leader Big Boss, due to his great speed.
By 2014, the RPG-7 spread to the poorer, war-torn regions (such as the Middle East) and was mainly used by the local militias against the PMCs. The RPG-7 was their primary weapon to dislodge any strongly defended PMC positions and against armored vehicles and helicopters. Old Snake acquired the weapon once more and voluntarily used it against Gekko units.
Behind the scenes
In the original Metal Gear, Solid Snake can obtain the RPG-7V on the second floor of Building 2, to the east of where the two Bloody Brad cyberoids are stationed. The player must first have rescued at least 16 POWs, in order to achieve the maximum rank (4 stars). Resistance member Jennifer must then be contacted with the transceiver, on frequency 120.48, while in the area east of the Bloody Brads. She will then place the rocket launcher on the table of the eastern room.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Naked Snake can obtain the RPG-7 on the Krasnogorje Mountainside inside a small weapons building near the path leading to the mountaintop. If Snake does not obtain the RPG-7 here, EVA will give one to him during the motorcycle chase. The RPG-7's massive size and bulk prevents Snake from moving with it in his hands. It is the heaviest weapon that Naked Snake can carry in the game, weighing 6.3 kg (13.9 lbs). It takes about 5 seconds to reload.
- "The RPG-7. A state-of-the-art Soviet portable anti-tank rocket launcher. The rocket-propelled grenade warheads are loaded with HEAT, a plastic explosive."
- ―RPG-7 description in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
- "First deployed in 1962, the RPG-7 is the cutting edge in anti-tank weaponry. It is the successor to the RPG-2, which was itself inspired by the Panzer-faust, a German anti-tank grenade launch tube used in WWII.
The RPG-7 combines a reusable tube launcher with rocket-propelled grenades (85mm HE/HEAT) to take out armored targets and bunkers."
- ―RPG-7 weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The RPG-7 reprises its role in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as Solid Snake's "Forward Smash." He takes the RPG-7 and aims it at the ground directly in front of him, causing an explosion when released. It requires a few seconds to load the warhead, giving enemies a good chance to attack. High knock back, but low range. It is a very good move for finishing off someone. It is the strongest side smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Old Snake can find an RPG-7 during Act 1 of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, in a small room to the left before the Militia Safehouse, right next to the entrance. Due to its heavy usage by the milita, the player should not have any trouble finding free ammunition for the RPG.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The RPG-7 can be developed by the Militaires Sans Frontières in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, along with the earlier RPG-2 model.
- "The successor to the RPG2, produced and deployed in large numbers as the primary anti-tank weapon for infantry in the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Needless to say, it is highly effective against personnel as well as tanks.
The grenades contain a more powerful warhead than those of the RPG2, but suffer from the same low accuracy. The secret to getting the most out of the RPG7 in battle is to get up close and personal with the enemy and aim your shots carefully."
- ―RPG-7 description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker