RPO-A Shmel (Bumblebee)

RPO-A Shmel (Bumblebee)

RPO "Bumblebee" (rus."РПО-А Шмель") is a man-portable rocket launcher produced and exported by Russia and the former Soviet Union.


The RPO is a single-shot, self-contained tube shaped launcher which operates much like some RPG and LAW rocket launchers. The launcher is a sealed tube, carried in a man-pack in pairs. The same person can remove the tube, place it in firing position, and launch the weapon without assistance. After launch, the tube is discarded. All models are externally similar.


Each weapon contains a single rocket, of which there are three varieties. The basic rocket is the RPO-A, which has a thermobaric warhead and is designed for attacking soft targets under moderate cover. The RPO-Z is the incendiary warhead designed to spread fire and ignite targets. Finally, there is a smoke producing warhead offered, the RPO-D.


Specifications provided by Jane's: [cite web | url = http://www.janes.com/defence/land_forces/news/jidr/jidr010104_3_n.shtml | title = RPO-A Shmel rocket infantry flame-thrower | last = Gander | first = Terry | date = 2001-01-05 | publisher = Jane's | work = Land Forces]
* Calibre: 93 mm
* Length:
** Launcher: 920 mm
** Rocket: 700 mm
* Weight:
** Single weapon: 11 kg
** Transit pack of two: 22 kg
* Sighting range: 600 m
* Range:
** Minimum: 20 m
** Maximum: 1,000 m
* Initial velocity: 125 ±5 m/s
* Warhead:
** RPO-A: 2.1 kg thermobaric
** RPO-Z: 2.1 kg incendiary
** RPO-D: 2.3 kg smoke
* Operational temperature range: −50 to +50ºC
* Shelf life: 10 years


* [cite web | url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/armstrade/story/0,10674,604182,00.html | title = UK dealers sell 'vacuum bombs' to Sri Lanka | author = Wilson, Jamie and Crew, Bob | date = 2001-11-23 | publisher = Guardian Unlimited] [cite web | url = http://www.tamilcanadian.com/page.php?cat=68&id=421&page=0 | title = Big Stink over Schmel Launchers | first = Frederica | last = Jansz | date = 2001-08-12 | publisher = TamilCanadian]

ervice history

RPO weapons have seen use by the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and by both the Russian and the rebel forces in and near Chechnya, including during the battles of Grozny.

The use of the RPO by Russian special forces has been implicated in possibly starting the fire which claimed a number of lives in the Beslan school hostage crisis. [cite web | url = http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/07/21/004.html | title = A Reversal over Beslan Only Fuels Speculation | author = Medetsky, Anatoly and Voitova, Yana | date = 2005-07-21 | publisher = The Moscow Times]

ee also

*M202A1 FLASH, a similar weapon developed by the US Army


External links

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgRJRpGJfbg Video of the Schmel in use]
* [http://www.shipunov.com/eng/str/grenades/rpo.htm RPO-A, RPO-D and RPO-Z Infantry rocket flamethrowers - Shipunov]
* [http://warfare.ru/video/wmv/shmel.mpg Video of RPO-A destroying building (MPG)]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • RPO — The abbreviation RPO could refer to: * Railway post office * Recovery point objective disaster Recovery concept in Information Technologies * Recovery Probability Objective another disaster recovery concept in IT based on field experience *… …   Wikipedia

  • Russian Airborne Troops — Vozdushno Desantnye Voyska Air Landing Forces VDV medium emblem. Active 1930s – present Country …   Wikipedia

  • Combat engineering — is a combat service support role of using the knowledge, tools and techniques of engineering by troops in peace and war, but specifically in combat. A combat engineer, in many armies also called pioneer or sapper, is a military specialist in… …   Wikipedia

  • Bomba termobárica — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Una de las denominaciones de esta arma es bomba de vacío. Para la máquina de extracción de gas homónima véase bomba de vacío. Una bomba termobárica de alto impulso (HIT), también conocida como bomba de fuel, bomba de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Combat engineer — This article is about the combatant soldier occupation. For the military science concept of shaping the physical war environment, see Military engineering. Combat Engineer by Victory V. Reynolds, Vietnam Combat Artists Program, CAT VIII, 1968.… …   Wikipedia

  • Military equipment of Georgia — Flag of Georgian Land Forces Active 1991 Country …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”