Why don't NATO militaries use RPGs?

…I was just wondering, seeing as just about every third world and former Soviet nation seem to use rocket propelled grenades like the RPG-7, but western armies don’t.

Any particular reason why? They seem to be handy enough weapons to have. And the technology can’t be the issue…the RPG-7 is basically a panzerfaust design.

I’m assuming that there is a good reason why they’re not used by the west, but I’m damned if I know why. Can anyone enlighten me?

NATO militaries have a variety of shoulder launched antitank/bunker munitions, that fill the same role as the RPG.

I heard RPG rounds cost only about $18 each. Sorry, no cite.

Somewhere there are some defense contractors laughing their asses off.

It’s entirely possible RPG rounds cost $18 back in the days of the USSR, but I wouldn’t trust a price quote from a country where prices meant pretty much nothing.

I don’t see how the RPG design is really any better than a tube-enclosed design. Western armies certainly have many small, light man-portable anti-tank weapons equivalent to the various RPG designs.

Effectiveness might be the bigger issue. An RPG probably can’t destroy a tank or particulary well built bunker. A TOW can. There’s also the issue of range an accuracy, especially on moving targets.

The US military uses specific dedicated anti tank weapons against modern armor, which the old style RPG can no longer destroy. For the rest of the targets that might need to be hit with a grenade, we have grenade machine guns.


Here is a shoulder fired contraption that packs a bit more punch than the average RPG. Javelin Live Fire Vs. Soviet T-72.

At $25,000 per shot per shot they ain’t cheap and the launch computer is $125,000 to boot! Heh. At least those defense contractors are having some fun with our money. Quite a bit of fun from the looks of that video…