Copy Cat

Sometimes war is a complicated thing.

I reported on SOFREP a while back on the US supplying Mi-27 Russian helicopters to the Ukrainians to use against the Russians. Today I’m talking about American Built RPG-7s, supplied to Ukraine from the US and supposedly being used to take out Russian Equipment. “But,” you say, scratching your head, “everyone knows that RPGs are Russian-designed weapons; what the hell are you talking about?”

Read on and allow me to explain.

A Ukraine National Guard soldier gripping an American-made RPG-7 clone. Image Credit:

When is an RPG-7 Not an RPG-7?

Answer: When it’s a PSRL-1, made in the USA. It is a Precision Shoulder-fired Rocket Launcher, and we ripped the idea for this right out of the back catalog of tried and true Soviet-era weapons and Americanized the hell out of it. Since 1961, more than 9 million RPG-7s have been made, making it the most produced anti-armor weapon ever.

A Texas-based company, AirTronic USA developed what they refer to as a modernized version of the venerable RPG-7 and gave it the somewhat unimaginative nickname of RPG-7USA. It was developed in coordination with and became a program of record of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in 2015. The first confirmed sales of the finished product were to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2017 (500 units). These were reportedly used in combat for the first time shortly after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

One of the most iconic weapons used in modern warfare. Video courtesy of YouTube and US Military News.

The American RPG-7 is slightly lighter than its Russian counterpart at 14 lbs, and it is made out of 4140/4150 ordnance-grade steel giving it a 1,000 round lifespan. The rate of fire for a motivated user is 3-4 rounds per minute. Compared to the original RPG-7, the PSRL has Picatinny rails for mounting optics and accessories.