Philippines starts transition to RPG-7 infantry rocket launchers

A Philippine Army officer demonstrate the use the ATGL-L (RPG-7) rocket propelled grenade launcher during a training exercise. Photo c/o 33rd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.

The Philippine Army (PA) has started improving the firepower of their infantry units with the introduction of the RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade launcher. This is to replace the ageing M67 90mm recoilless rifles used as an assault and light anti-armor weapon.

The PA ordered 250 units of ATGL-L rocket propelled grenades from Bulgaria’s Arsenal JSCo, which is an improved copy of the Soviet/Russian RPG-7. Deliveries started in 2017, although the first to receive the weapons were units from the Philippine Army’s Scout Rangers.

Distribution of the ATGL-L to regular infantry and mechanized units started in the 3rd quarter of 2018, with some infantry units only receiving their RPGs recently.

Aside from the Bulgarian ATGL-L, the Philippine Army also received 30 units Norinco Type 69 RPGs in September 2018, which are Chinese copies of the RPG-7 and were donated by the Chinese government, while also ordering 744 units of RPG-7V2 from Russian state arms export agency Rosoboronexport.

The RPG-7 design was chosen by the Philippine Army over the Saab M4 Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle to replace the M67 90mm RRs due to its lightweight, ease of operation, affordability, and more extensive ammunition options. Currently the PA uses the fragmentation anti-personnel, high explosive anti-tank (HEAT), and thermobaric rounds for their RPGs.

It was also said that instead of retiring the M67 RR, the PA are now installing them on utility vehicles to improve the firepower of motorized units.

[1] Philippine Army 33rd Infantry Battalion
[2] MaxDefense Philippines
[3] MaxDefense Philippines
[4] TASS

Philippines starts transition to RPG-7 infantry rocket launchers Philippines starts transition to RPG-7 infantry rocket launchers Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on January 31, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments