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Grenade launcher SPG-9M.jpg
A Polish SPG-9M
Type Recoilless gun
Anti-tank gun
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1962–present
Weight 47.5 kg (105 lb)
59.5 kg (131 lb)
with the tripod[1]
Length 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) [1]
Width 99 cm (3 ft 3 in)
allowing for full weapon traverse[1]
Height 80 cm (2 ft 7 in)[1]
Crew 2 (1 gunner, 1 loader)

Caliber 73 mm (2.87 in) smoothbore[1]
Breech Interrupted screw[1]
Recoil None
Carriage Tripod
Elevation +7°/−3°
Traverse 30° total
Rate of fire 5–6 rounds per minute [1]
Muzzle velocity 250 to 435 m/s
(800 to 1,427 ft/s)
Effective range 800 m (875 yds)
Maximum range 1,200 m to 6,500 m
(1,300 to 7,100 yd)
Feed system Manually breech loaded
Sights PGO-9 optical 4× sight or
PGN-9 IR and passive night sight

The SPG-9 Kopye (Spear) is a Russian tripod-mounted man-portable, 73 millimetre calibre recoilless gun developed by the Soviet Union. It fires fin-stabilised, rocket-assisted HE and HEAT projectiles similar to those fired by the 73 mm 2A28 Grom low pressure gun of the BMP-1 armored vehicle. It was accepted into service in 1962, replacing the B-10 recoilless rifle.


The projectile is launched from the gun by a small charge, which gives it an initial velocity of between 250 and 400 metres per second. The launch charge also imparts spin to the projectile by a series of offset holes. Once the projectile has travelled approximately 20 meters (65.6 feet) from the launcher a rocket motor in its base ignites. For the PG-9 projectile, this takes it to a velocity of 700 metres per second (2,296.6 feet per second) before the motor burns out.

The SPG-9 is light, and is normally transported by vehicle, and carried into position by its two crew. It can be deployed in around a minute. The weapon is in service with a large number of armed forces, and a variety of ammunition is produced, however mostly they are copies of the original Soviet PG-9 HEAT and OG-9 FRAG-HE rounds.

The SPG-9 is widely available to terrorists and maritime pirates in the Horn of Africa region, as well as in other regions to a lesser degree. It is not as popular as the RPG-7 because it has to be mounted on a vehicle or boat and cannot be easily carried and shoulder fired. The SPG-9 requires much more skill to fire accurately in comparison to the RPG-7. There have been reports of these mounted in skiffs and larger "mother ships". The SPG-9 can typically be found mounted on a wide variety of vehicles known as "technicals" in Somalia.

A variant for use with airborne troops including detachable wheels was built as the SPG-9D.


Type Weight Fuze Length Explosive
HEAT-FS 4.39 kg VP-9 920 mm 0.322 kg
of hexogen
435 m/s 800 m 1,300 m 300 mm -
PG-9N HEAT-FS VP-9 920 mm 0.340 kg
of OKFOL-3.5 [2]
435 m/s 800 m 1,300 m 400 mm -
PG-9VS HEAT-FS 4.4 kg ? 920 mm ? 1,300 m ? 400 mm -
HEAT-FS 3.2 kg ? 920 mm ? 400 m/s 700 m 1,200 m 550 mm or
400 mm behind ERA
Tandem warhead
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
1062 mm 0.735 kg
of TNT
316 m/s - - n/a Cast iron casing
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
1062 mm 0.655 kg
of TD-50 [3]
316 m/s - - n/a -
FRAG-HE 5.35 kg GO-2 or
1062 mm ? 316 m/s - 4,500 m n/a -
FRAG-HE 6.9 kg O-4M ? ? 250 m/s - 4,000 m n/a Bulgarian made
FRAG-HE ? O-4M ? ? ? - 6,500 m n/a Bulgarian made


Romanian soldiers with an AG-9 (licensed built SPG-9) in traveling position.

A Mongolian Mobile Training Team member reviews some of the features of the SPG-9 recoilless gun, an anti-tank weapon system, with Afghan National Army soldiers prior to a live-fire weapons demonstration, Sept. 2, at the Camp Scenic weapons range near the Darulaman Infantry School in Kabul, Afghanistan. The MTT specialize in SPG-9 recoilless rifle systems and train ANA soldiers at the infantry school. Photo by Capt. Anthony Deiss.

  •  Afghanistan
  •  Armenia
  •  Belarus
  •  Bulgaria: SPG-9DNM
  •  People's Republic of China
  •  Cuba
  •  Egypt
  •  Georgia
  •  Hungary: SZPG-9
  •  Iran: SPG-9
  •  Iraq
  •  Libya
  •  Moldova 138 units
  •  Mongolia
  •  Morocco[4]
  •    Nepal
  •  Pakistan
  •  Poland
  •  Romania: AG-9
  •  Soviet Union (former user)
  •  Sudan
  •  Syria
  •  Vietnam
  • Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North,[5]
  • Taliban,[6][7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 OPFOR Worldwide Equipment Guide, TRADOC DCSINT Threat Support Directorate, January 21, 1999
  2. 95% HME 5% wax
  3. TNT/dinitronaphthalene
  4. [1]
  5. HSBA Arms and Ammunition Tracing Desk. SPLA-N weapons and equipment, South Kordofan, December 2012. Small Arms Survey, 2013, p.9
  6. Hennessey, Patrick. The Junior Officers' Reading Club. Penguin Publications, 2009, p.272
  7. Kemp, Colonel Richard and Hughes, Chris, Attack State RED, Penguin Books Ltd, London, 2010, pp.325-334.

See also

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