On Thursday night, a video was posted online showing Ukrainian troops firing an improvised MRL (multiple rocket launcher) at Russian positions. A Ukrainian soldier captured it on camera. Where it took place is unknown, but given the ongoing fighting, it most likely took place in the Donbas region.
The soldier’s modification effectively transformed the RPG from an anti-tank weapon into an indirect mortar.
OSINTtechnical, the group that first shared the footage, later discovered that they were using RPG-7 man-portable launchers equipped to fire 82mm OG-82 high-explosive (HE) rockets, also known as 82mm mortar bombs.
19FortyFive notes that this improvised weapon has been used in the “War in Donbas,” which has been ongoing since 2014.
Kyiv’s forces undoubtedly had a large quantity of RPG-7 sniper rifles inherited from the Soviet Union after the Cold War. This is even though the Ukrainian military has been supplied with a large number of man-portable anti-tank weapons developed in the United States (FGM-148 Javelin), the United Kingdom (NLAW), and Sweden (AT4).
They are effectively using them against Kremlin-based MBTs.
While the RPG-7 and other similar man-portable anti-tank guns are technically operable by a single soldier, in practice, they are typically deployed in teams. The two-person crew consists of a gunner and an assistant. The assistant’s duties include bringing more ammunition, reloading the gun, and shielding the gunner from harm.
Interestingly, the RPG-7 was designed to be used against NATO tanks but has instead been increasingly deployed against Russian MBTs and other vehicles.
The military of Kyiv has updated several older weapons to make them more effective in modern combat; thus, this is hardly an exception.
March saw allegations that a service member had successfully modified a PM M1910 Maxim machine gun into a massive sniper rifle.
Necessity is the motherhood of invention.