It took seven years to launch the production of the RPG-32. During this time, the grenade launcher turned into a legend and gained wide popularity. This is not surprising, because it is considered the most powerful in the world - it breaks through homogeneous armor up to a meter thick. It is therefore very interesting to know the true history his creation. To this end, the NVO correspondent met with one of the main founders of the grenade launcher Vladimir Korenkov, the former general director - the general designer of the SNPP Basalt.
At the arms exhibition in Abu Dhabi in March 2005, three stakeholder groups met. The first is the Jordanian led by the king, the second is the high-ranking representatives of Rosoboronexport and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS). Well, and Russian designers.
First, a meeting was held with representatives of the Jordanian general, who said that they would be interested to take part in any modern armory development.
King Abdullah II pays great attention to the development of high technology products. King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), the Jordanian national design bureau, for example, focuses on the development of very high-quality sighting devices from different countries. Moreover, Jordanians are even authorized users, that is, they have the right to develop or modify something themselves. By tank theme - this is the king’s favorite theme - a tank with an uninhabited combat module instead of a tower was created together with South Africa. But the weapons of the battlefield and the ammunition theme were nothing.
On the same day, all the interested parties met in the deliberation room of the Rosoboronexport pavilion. Within an hour, the king was presented Russian ammunition products, told about the prospects and developments.
Vladimir Korenkov reports: “Abdullah II liked everything, after a while he expressed interest in ordering development for Jordan and asked what the Russian side could offer? The idea of bicalibera was immediately born. Because it is not rational to carry a heavy grenade launcher when only 10% of targets on the battlefield require an 105 caliber mm. The rest are well solved by ordinary shots of a smaller mass. And right there came up with the name RPG-32.
This is a very light grenade launcher, which is also a case for the sighting device. And a system of sealed cartridges with different caliber shots. Plus, a good optical sight, which was supposed to be further developed as a fire control device.
But at the same time, another idea was born - to promote these weapons to the markets, primarily in the countries of the Middle East, using rebranding. With equal qualities, Russian weapons were always sold twice cheaper than foreign ones. You could only change this by rebranding, offer this product from another seller. ”
Fundamentally new grenade launcher made in just a year. This was facilitated by a serious scientific and technical background, which was available in the design bureau of the enterprise “Basalt”, and a strong composition of designers. Difficulties encountered the "paper" part of the project - numerous approvals and preparation of documents for the intergovernmental agreement.
Basalt has already had unsuccessful experience in creating such enterprises in Bulgaria and India. At the initial stage they were literally drowned in bureaucratic procedures.
Vladimir Korenkov is sure that without the head of FSVTS Mikhail Dmitriev and Vladimir Poletov’s advisor neither the plant nor the RPG-32 would simply exist. The opposition to the project was felt from the very beginning, but it was completely incomprehensible where it came from. Suffice it to say that the contract entered into force after the completion of all design work. Basalt received payment after the RPG-32 was ready.
All development work (OCD) went through a decree of the president and state mediator - Rosoboronexport. Its employees were very actively involved in the preparation of all documents on the international part and coordination with the departments. Of particular note is the head of the Rosoboronexport department, Mikhail Bychkov.
The scheme of financing works changed several times, either for its own funds or at the expense of a loan. The king was originally willing to pay all of his money. But eventually a state loan was obtained. At the same time, the idea of building a plant on the territory in Jordan took shape. There was assumed a large-modular assembly with further possible authorization.
An internal tender was held to create a sight, and Belarusian BelOMO offered the best conditions. And in the future, his staff quickly responded to all the needs to change the characteristics of the sighting system. They did it very well and for reasonable money. And now they continue to improve the sight, already cooperating directly with Jordan.
Simultaneously with the combat model of the RPG-32, a complex with practical training equipment was made. Previously, educational assets were understood as posters, split layouts, command boxes, etc. On the "Basalt" fell under this category grenade launcher, shooting inert shots, which are very cheap. The fact is that enterprises have the right to conduct foreign economic activity in the field of service and training simulators, systems and complexes.
Basalt used this opportunity to create a new product. As a result, by 2009, at the enterprise, the volume of export orders for training shots exceeded orders for military products. The same with the state defense order. Combat reflexes acquired using this type of training and military weapons are exactly the same. All the same, except for the possibility of receiving barotrauma shooter. If a combat shot is a blow of approximately 160 decibels, in fact, an easy concussion, then the training one is 135 – 140 decibels, which is practically painless and allows you to continue training shooting. There is no accumulation of hearing injuries and real firing skills are acquired. This property is highly appreciated by foreign military experts. This is not only about RPG-32, training equipment was developed for almost the entire line of Russian rocket launchers: RPG-22, RPG-26, RPG-29, RSHG-1, etc.
A large batch of training equipment was manufactured, including the RPG-32, about 10 thousand shots. There were supplies to Jordan, to domestic special forces for training. But on this production of educational property on the "Basalt" stopped. And this market is now practically lost.
The reason was the revision of the production and design plans of the new leadership of "Basalt". Vladimir Korenkov at the end of April 2009 was dismissed from his post as general director. And to be the general designer, knowing that the enterprise is being restructured, and that design work will be cut, he did not want to.
The state defense order for inert shots was received by the Plant plant. They worked on a different technology: they received products from the arsenal of the Ministry of Defense, dismantled, re-equipped and, for 80%, the prices of the new product were again supplied to the army. The same ammunition, but without the fuse and explosives. That is, the army lost the combat item and paid for it again to get inert. For the same money, "Basalt" could deliver five times more training assets without a loss in the arsenals.
An assembly plant in Jordan was supposed to make it in the fall of 2009 of the year. In April, 2009, when Vladimir Korenkov left the Basalt, all activity in this direction ceased.
But the Russian-Jordanian treaty continued to operate, the plant was supposed to build. In March 2010, King Abdullah II of Jordan, accompanied by the head of the government of the Hashemite Kingdom Samir Al-Rifai and Foreign Minister Nasser Jodah, arrived in Moscow to address military-technical cooperation. After negotiations with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, new export agreements were signed in April. Including the creation in Jordan of the assembly production of RPG-32 “Hashim” grenade launchers under new conditions.
Already in the summer of the same year, the Jordanian side demonstrated the model of the future plant at the international salon MVSV-2010, which was held in Zhukovsky within the framework of the 1-th International Forum “Engineering Technologies”.
In February of next year, at the IDEX-2011 international defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, Basalt General Director SNPP Alexander Rybas told the press that the construction of a new RPG-32 multi-caliber grenade launcher RPG-XNUMX Hashim would begin in the near future.
In mid-December 2011, Rybas reiterated that the plant for the production of Russian RPG-32 grenade launchers would open in May 2012.
The next statement was made by the management of Basalt in January 2012: “The construction of the plant is over, and we will install equipment there, train personnel, and the plant will work next year. Some delay in 2009 – 2010 was due to the fact that intellectual property issues were not properly regulated, but this year all the necessary documents with the Jordanian side were signed. ”
But only in March 2013, in the UAE, at the IDEX-2013 armament salon, the new general director of the Bazalt research and production association, Vladimir Porhachev, said: “We have handed over the plant built to Jordan’s order. The Jordanian Commission accepted it. The Russian side has begun to supply machine-kits for the assembly of Hashim rocket launchers. He explained: “In the first half of the year, we will send 10 thousand car-sets to Jordan, and send the rest of 10 thousand in the second half of the year. Total during the year the Jordanian plant should produce 20 thousands of the latest RPG-32 “Hashim” grenade launchers.
RPG-32 AS HE IS
Vladimir Porhachev either made a reservation, or did not know that there was no longer any Hashim, but there was a Nashshab. By the way, RPG “Hashim” got its name by the name of the great-grandfather of the prophet Mahomet, benefactor of Mecca Hashim ibn Abd ad-Dar, from whom the royal family of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan originates. This name was given to the grenade launcher by Abdullah II himself. "Nashshab" can be translated as "shattering", "shredder" or "smasher." Who is more like it. By the way, quite in the spirit of Eastern traditions, where weapons have always been given an awesome name.
The estimated production capacity of the assembly plant, located in 20 km from the capital Amman, is 60 thousand grenade launchers per year. If there are such applications from buyers, of course. So far, 80% components will be supplied from Russia. In the future, it is expected to increase the level of localization.
On "Basalt" claim that it was necessary to modify the RPG-32, including its appearance. However, details of the improvements are not given. A comparison of the 2006 and 2013 samples, their photos and videos shows that Nashab is absolutely similar to Hashim.
RPG-32 remained in the ground version. Instead of camouflage - show stars. It is still a technological white cap. And these are all unmasking elements. Judging by this, the grenade launcher has not experienced any modifications. Therefore, it is possible to bring its performance characteristics as unchanged.
So, the Nashab RPG-32 is a reusable hand-held multi-caliber multifunctional grenade launcher. Depending on the type of target, it can be equipped with shots of various calibers - 72,5 or 105 mm. The launching device with a length of 36 cm and a weight of 3 kg includes a retractable sight inward. Precision shot range - 700 m. The launch system is electric, but without a battery or battery. The electric impulse is produced by a special generator, which increases the reliability of the grenade launcher. Grenade caliber 72-mm is designed to destroy lightly armored targets, shelters, etc., pierces armor with a thickness of 500 mm. 3 kg weighs.
And the cumulative 105-mm grenade breaks through homogeneous armor about 1000 mm thick and weighs 7 kg. Pomegranates are contained in special sealed and shock-resistant cartridges. A grenade launcher can withstand without loss of combat properties up to 200 shots. RPG-32 is very easy to use, any newbie masters it very easily and is guaranteed to hit the target from the second shot. It is enough to catch the target in the sight and shoot.
The armament of the Russian army RPG-32 has not yet been adopted. And will never be accepted. Because now in Russia a new grenade launcher complex is being developed, which, probably, will be able to destroy armored vehicles as a class. The tender for its creation for the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation won the Moscow State Technical University named after NE Baumana forces of the structural unit of the University - Research and Production Center "Special equipment". It is headed by Vladimir Korenkov. Here he found support and understanding. The supervisor of the new structural unit is Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Victor Selivanov. They are in a hurry to implement breakthrough ideas. They are rushing to arm Russia with absolute battlefield weapons. What they did, we learn in a year or two.