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Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated
From: (Will Flor)
Subject: Re: RPG Propellant?
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 15:45:54 GMT

In article <>, (Will Flor) wrote:
>In article <>, wrote:
>>In article <>,
>>  me <> wrote:
>>> What is the propellant for a RPG?
>>        Its a high impulse solid fuel rocket. Its gone before the
>>        round clears the launcher IIRC.
>>        As to what it is chemically, beats me.
>My guess is that, like most military production solid fuel rockets, it is
>based on ammonium perchlorate or potassium perchlorate in a polymer matrix,
>either a polystyrene or similar plastic, or a butadiene rubber.  As I said,
>this is *only* a guess.

And, as it turns out, this guess is almost definitely *wrong*.  Mea culpa.  My
sources tell me that, in fact, most military production solid fuel rockets use
propellants that are based on high explosives, and that the most-used
propellant base is RDX (at least in the US military - I don't have any
connections in the Russian military.)  The reason for this is that, although
propellants based on high explosives are much less powerful than AP or KP
propellants, they leave little or no smoke trail.  The only military usage of
AP or KP based propellants is when hiding the launch vehicle is not needed
(usually because it's too late) like from a ship, or when the extra
performance is really needed.  An RPG falls into neither category.  Thanks to
my friends (unnamed, as they wish) from China Lake for this info.

-Will Flor
Appropriately adjust my return address to reach me via e-mail.

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