Could one shoot an incoming RPG out of the air?

Is this possible? Let’s say a soldier has very,very good aim and reflexes. Could he/she shoot an incoming RPG out of the air before it does damage? I know they are working on computer based system to attach to planes, where an incoming RPG or other missle could be shot out of the air. I am just wondering if it could be done by a human…with very good luck that is.?

Possible? Yes… Likely? Not very! If you Google around, you can find stats on the puppy –
suggesting a max speed of 300m/s and a time of flight to target of 1 to 2 seconds.

Compare it to skeet shooting where you have a target flying less than 50 m/s…

On the other hand, if I knew one was incoming, and I didn’t have anything else worth trying (like eating dirt!) I might give it a try…


Don’t know about shooting them, but the real-life fellow portrayed by Ewan MacGregor in the film Black Hawk Down purportedly dodged no less than three RPGs fired at him at various points in the day, according to an eyewitness I’ve spoken with.

Well according to this site , a soviet RPG-7v has a max flight velocity of 300 m/s, which is 1080 km/h.

I was just going to look up more info, but then I remembered I’m at work and if I look up too many ammunition/gun sites it may raise a flag or two. :slight_smile:

Consider the velocity of the round used to shoot the RPG vs the RPG speed and try figure out what kind of lead you would need to even target the sucker.

Computer based systems dont try to get a direct hit on the incoming RPG, but would rather have another missile kinda thing which would follow a certain adaptive path and explode at a certain radius from the RPG - thereby hoping to destroy the RPG (at least thats how the patriots work).

Head on collision is very unlikely even with control systems.

The laser defense systems we’re putting in the field now probably could, but if the bad guys are close enough to the system to fire RPSs at it, it’s pretty much too late to begin with.

Having seen an AT-4 fired live (and I admit it’s more impressive than an RPG, but still) just saying something is traveling very fast through the air and actually seeing it done, well, it is amazingly fast. Considering you don’t actually have a lot of distance (these aren’t aircraft-fired missiles with miles of range) your available reaction time is is practically nil.

There was me thinking that Everquest players were fair game…

Heh. Glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one who was thinking along those lines. Confusing until I read the thread.

I third that one.

I would have shot the Buffy RPG out of the air if I’d had the chance.

It’s not completely necessary to ‘shoot down’ an incoming projectile, just necessary to make it NOT hit you.

Electronic jamming, big expanding jettisoned wads of chaff (glorified tinsel) and really hot flares can divert/intercept some incoming projectiles (depending on their guidance systems).

A dumb missile like an RPG-7 can only be physically diverted or prematurely detonated. If a soldier had his/her weapon trained on the RPG Gunner at the time of launch, and let loose a burst as a reaction to the firing of the round, I’d say yeah, it could be “shot down” if the round were coming right at the soldier, as the OP suggests. You’d need to make enough of an impact to set off the contact fusing, or hit it with enough lead to divert the flight path.

An unprepared soldier would not likely have time to raise his/her weapon, sight in, and fire before becoming a cloud of mist.

I believe the Russians are at work on a system to try and interdict HEAT rounds before they impact the tank. It’s a radar system that senses the incoming round, then detonates an explosive panel that shreds the projectile before impact. Kind of a modification of the exisitng reactive armor systems.

As others hve pointed out, and unlike what Hollywood likes showing, the projecitle is moving awfully fast…