The new Shmel-M infantry rocket flame-thrower was developed by the Tula-based KBP Instrument Design Bureau in the mid 2000s lo replace the Shmel flamethrower, It is basically a deep modernisation of the RPO-A with a considerably greater range of fire and a much more powerful round. The maximum range of fire was increased from 1000 to 1700 m while the effective range of fire grew from 600 to 800 m. The warhead yield of the new flame-thrower is the equivalent of 5-6 kg of TNT, which is comparable to the hgh-explosion effect of a 152-155 mm artillery projectile. At the same time the weight of the flame-thrower was reduced form 12 to 8.8 kg. The flame-thrower was designated RPO-PDM-A Shmel-M (where 'PDM' stands for 'Povyshennoi Dalnosti i Moshchnosti' or enhanced range and power).
Just like the Shmel flame-thrower, the Shmel-M is a heavy multi-purpose man-portable recoilless weapon of the rocket launcher type. It is designed to boost combat capabilities and tactical independence of Army units. The Shmel-M efficiently kills enemy manpower and weapon systems inside various protective shelters, destroys fortifications, and renders ineffective soft-skin and thin-skin vehicles.
Unlike its predecessor, the RPO-PDM-A features a rocket motor integrated with its warhead. It has a smoothbore fibreglass launch tube, which also serves as a storage container. The flame-thrower undergoes the final assembly at the manufacturing plant and is delivered to military units ready for use. For firing the launch tube is fitted with a trigger assembly and an optical sight. Two loaded launch tubes and one trigger assembly with ал optical sight are joined together to be carried by one man as a back-pack weighing a total of 19 kg.
The Shmel-M flame-thrower features high combat capabilities a sample design and an outstanding reliability.
The warhead rocket infantry flame-thrower RPO PDM-A Shmel-M