Armor: Where Are The Tandem Warheads


August 24, 2007: One of the mysteries of the Iraq war is the absence of tandem (dual) warhead RPG shells. This type of shell is able to get past the anti-RPG devices used by Strykers (slat armor) or M-2 Bradleys (ERA armor). The RPG-7 can fire a PG-7VR rocket, which has a tandem warhead, designed to penetrate explosive reactive armor on tanks. If hit by a tandem warhead, a Stryker vehicle would be risk being penetrated, or even completely demolished. These tandem PG-7R warheads are highly favored by guerrilla fighters and terrorists alike, but few have shown up in Iraq.

Cheaper copies of the tandem warheads are made in both Iran and China. Five years ago, a cargo ship called the Karine-A was boarded by Israeli commandos who found 50 tons of weaponry destined for Palestinian guerrillas. Among the arms found were large quantities of RPG-7V1s, and rockets with tandem warhead, which would have significantly boosted the operational capabilities of Palestinian terror groups. The RPGs and their warhead, along with all of the weapons captured, were manufactured and purchased from Iran. Israel had been able to lean on the East European governments to stop most armaments shipments to Palestinian terror groups, but the Iranians consider it their sacred duty to do whatever they can to destroy Israel.

But very few of these tandem warheads have been encountered in Iraq. Perhaps the threats have worked, as manufacturers were told that the U.S. would find a way to get back at any nation that sold these weapons to Iraqi hostiles. Something is going on here.


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