Reactive anti-tank grenade RPG-27 in firing position
A considerable spread of explosive reactive armour (ERA) demanded that new weapon systems should be designed for defeating armoured vehicles, fitted with ERA. In the late 1980s Bazait developed the RPG-27 heavy anti-tank rocket launcher, fielded in 1989. The development project, codenamed “Tavolga” was at various times headed by leading engineers Yu. l. Radchenko and A. F. Korablev.
The project was aimed at developing a disposable rocket launcher, capable of killing tanks, equipped with ERA, weapon systems and manpower in various protective shelters. The rocket launcher is designed to boost combat capabilities of Army units.
In order to increase penetration the round is fitted with a 105 mm main warhead, and a 64 mm precursor charge. The precursor charge with a piezoelectric fuse detonates when the round hits the ERA, destroys it, and sends a pulse to detonate the main warhead. At the same time a shaped-charge jet forms after the ERA is defeated, thus, the ERA explosion does not deform the shaped-charge jet of the main warhead and does not reduce its penetration. As a result, the RPG-27 rocket is capable of defeating protection of any modem main battle tank.
The tandem warhead design had been well-tested on the PG-7VR round of the RPG-7V1 rocket launcher by that time. In fact, the RPG-27 took most of the design from the RPG-7V1.
RPG-27 light anti-armour weapon
The RPG-27 features an expendable fibreglass launch tube with a calibre of 105 mm and a length of 1135 mm. The launch tube mounts the trigger assembly and iron sights, comprising a pop-up frame foresight and a dioptre rear sight wish a temperature adjustment option, similar to that of the RPG-26.
A greater calibre resulted in increasing the weight of the RPG-27 up to 8.3 kg. The muzzle velocity totals 130 m/s. The effective range of fire and the direct fire range slightly reduced as compared with those of the RPG-26 to equal 200 and 150 m respectively.
A heavier weight and a greater length of the RPG-27 have decreased the manoeuvrability of the rocket launcher operator, as compared with that of infantrymen, firing RPG-26s However, the deterioration of the above-mentioned characteristics is totally offset by the boosted ability to kill targets, fitted with ERA. It takes three simple actions lo set up the rocket launcher from the traveling position or tear it down from the combat position. The RPG-27 is assembled and mass-produced by the Nizhny Tagil-based Planta chemical plant.