High-Explosive Antitank Grenade - HAP (US Army, 1980's)

Grey Havoc

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Came across this project on a old Army Recognition forum thread (h/t jackehammond). Still trying to track down more details on this, but despite being an early '80's program, it seems that its roots can be traced back to this 1973 project (originally begun under the Munitions Branch of the USALWL [US Army Limited Warfare Laboratory]):

TASK NUMBER: 02-F-74

TITLE: Shaped Charge, Antitank, Hand-Thrown

AUTHORIZED FUNDING: $12,167

TASK DURATION: 12 July 1973

DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS: There is no hand-deployed device available to give the
infantryman in urban warfare the capability to disable a tank which is buttoned
up. Preliminary development of the device was being completed upon deactivation.
It will be 2.5 inches diameter by 7 inches long and weigh approximately 1.5 pounds.
It will be capable of penetrating 4 to 8 inches of armor plate. Existing munitions
components will be used and adapted where possible.

The hand-thrown device will be oriented to impact as nearly perpendicular
to the tank surface as possible or to be retained and orient itself after impact
with the tank surface. Fuzing and orientation were expected to be the major
technical problems.

The project continued at least into 1974, as can be seen by this interim report from the Army Land Warfare Laboratory.

This program was performed by the US Army Land Warfare Laboratory under LWL Task O2-F-74 in response to a request from US Army units in Germany for a
hand-thrown grenade capable of defeating a tank.

Descriptions of proposed desiqns are included and the results of limited
tests recorded.

INTRODUCTION

Current standard US Army antitank weapons have been designed to provide maximum
practical stand-off range. One of the consequences of this is generally
a significant signature at the launcher and occasionally along the trajectory
of the projectile. Another consequence is a minimum range within which the
munition does not function. These characteristics are in direct opposition
to those needed for antitank weapons to be used in a confined area such as
a city. The signature discourages use and the resultant immediate enemy reaction
to the firer. The blast and sound effects in a confined area are
likely to cause serious injury to the firer, and the minimum range may preclude
functioning on the target. A hand-thrown short-range device appeared
to overcome the deficiencies of standard weapons in an urban environment.

A hand deployed device which will give the infantryman in urban warfare the
capability to disable a "buttoned-up" tank is desired. This task provides
a definition of the type devices needed under three different tactical
conditions. Descriptions of a number of proposed designs are presented and
the results of limited tests recorded.

While there is a definite need for such a device, no obvious clear cut
answer was developed; however, the approach toward several possible designs
is described.

Note: Another separate report may have (likely indirectly, in this case) also fed into the 1980's program, i.e. Technical Report No. 74-92 "Improved Hand-Launched Antitank Munition for Urban Warfare" (again originating from the USALWL, but from it's Research Analysis Office). I haven't been able to locate a copy yet, though.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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Robert Leonhard in his influential 90s book “The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver Warfare Theory and Airland Battle” has a section calling for such a short range anti-tank weapon. The need for such is fairly limited now thanks to the availability of zero back blast short range anti-tank missiles. Thanks GH for finding the brochure.
 

Orionblamblam

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Simpsons Did It!
Panzerwurfmine.jpg
 

xiaofan

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Both Jerrey and Russkiye are get the right tool for the job.
 

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Grey Havoc

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Abraham Gubler said:
Robert Leonhard in his influential 90s book “The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver Warfare Theory and Airland Battle” has a section calling for such a short range anti-tank weapon. The need for such is fairly limited now thanks to the availability of zero back blast short range anti-tank missiles. Thanks GH for finding the brochure.

No problem.
 

Rickshaw

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Abraham Gubler said:
Robert Leonhard in his influential 90s book “The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver Warfare Theory and Airland Battle” has a section calling for such a short range anti-tank weapon. The need for such is fairly limited now thanks to the availability of zero black blast short range anti-tank missiles. Thanks GH for finding the brochure.

"Black blast"? ;D

However, that aside, I agree. I know which I'd rather rely on - a rocket propelled version or a hand thrown version. I'd have no desire to get that close to a tank or have to expose myself sufficiently to throw such a device.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Kadija_Man said:
"Black blast"?

Making fun of typos is the lowest form of commentary on an internet discussion forum.

Kadija_Man said:
However, that aside, I agree. I know which I'd rather rely on - a rocket propelled version or a hand thrown version. I'd have no desire to get that close to a tank or have to expose myself sufficiently to throw such a device.

The issue has nothing to do with keeping the enemy at range. This kind of weapon is used in close combat like urban and forest areas where the infantry and the tank are at very close proximity but thanks to cover the tank is unaware of the infantry’s presence. The thrown grenade is done so from outside the tank’s situational awareness and from adequate cover. The confined space launcher can do the same but a more conventional anti-tank weapon with a back blast cannot.
 

xiaofan

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Abraham Gubler said:
Kadija_Man said:
"Black blast"?

Making fun of typos is the lowest form of commentary on an internet discussion forum.

Kadija_Man said:
However, that aside, I agree. I know which I'd rather rely on - a rocket propelled version or a hand thrown version. I'd have no desire to get that close to a tank or have to expose myself sufficiently to throw such a device.

The issue has nothing to do with keeping the enemy at range. This kind of weapon is used in close combat like urban and forest areas where the infantry and the tank are at very close proximity but thanks to cover the tank is unaware of the infantry’s presence. The thrown grenade is done so from outside the tank’s situational awareness and from adequate cover. The confined space launcher can do the same but a more conventional anti-tank weapon with a back blast cannot.

I remember some years ago Iraqi insurgents use RKG-3 against HUMVEE with some success. I think there at less one video on YouTube showing sach action.
 

Rickshaw

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Abraham Gubler said:
Kadija_Man said:
However, that aside, I agree. I know which I'd rather rely on - a rocket propelled version or a hand thrown version. I'd have no desire to get that close to a tank or have to expose myself sufficiently to throw such a device.

The issue has nothing to do with keeping the enemy at range. This kind of weapon is used in close combat like urban and forest areas where the infantry and the tank are at very close proximity but thanks to cover the tank is unaware of the infantry’s presence. The thrown grenade is done so from outside the tank’s situational awareness and from adequate cover. The confined space launcher can do the same but a more conventional anti-tank weapon with a back blast cannot.

Marvellous theory. A great way to get yourself killed, I'd suggest. The maximum distance you can throw such a grenade is, what? 25 metres if you're lucky? You must also, if using an underhanded throw, exposing your entire upper-body. The tank might not see you but it's accompanying infantry certainly would. However, poking the muzzle of a rocket launcher/recoilless weapon out of a window or over a parapet is a little more surreptitious, don't you think? They also tend to have ranges of a 100 metres if not more.
 

Thiel

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Kadija_Man said:
Marvellous theory. A great way to get yourself killed, I'd suggest. The maximum distance you can throw such a grenade is, what? 25 metres if you're lucky? You must also, if using an underhanded throw, exposing your entire upper-body. The tank might not see you but it's accompanying infantry certainly would. However, poking the muzzle of a rocket launcher/recoilless weapon out of a window or over a parapet is a little more surreptitious, don't you think? They also tend to have ranges of a 100 metres if not more.
Except if you're in an enclosed space you can't use them because of their backblast.
 

Rickshaw

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Thiel said:
Kadija_Man said:
Marvellous theory. A great way to get yourself killed, I'd suggest. The maximum distance you can throw such a grenade is, what? 25 metres if you're lucky? You must also, if using an underhanded throw, exposing your entire upper-body. The tank might not see you but it's accompanying infantry certainly would. However, poking the muzzle of a rocket launcher/recoilless weapon out of a window or over a parapet is a little more surreptitious, don't you think? They also tend to have ranges of a 100 metres if not more.
Except if you're in an enclosed space you can't use them because of their backblast.

Well, not if you want to retain your hearing anyway. Although some very brave or foolish US Marines used 106mm RCL from buildings in Hue in 1968.

Rockets aren't as bad as recoilless but using a Davis-gun principle such as the Armbrust, as was alluded to earlier, even a recoilless weapon can be used with little danger to the firer.
 

Pruttator

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I was looking for more info about the XM-78 grenade and I think this has been the best source so far. I was surprised however that it was developed so late though. I was thinking it might've been developed in the '50s since it was copied/inspired by German and Soviet designs. Usually, US equipment isn't named after the year they are adopted, but could this be different for this one since it was experimental, even if that wasn't really done otherwise? XM-78 does land right between 1973/74 and early 1980s...
But I guess it's true what they say, everything new is old.
 

riggerrob

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Holy high tech Molotov cocktails!
This weapon is probably based upon Hungarian success during the 1956 rebellion and Chechen success during the 1990s. Both conflicts saw poorly-armed rebels destroy the latest Russian tanks with flaming bottles of gasoline.
The tactic requires luring tanks into urban areas with buildings towering over tanks. It is easy to drop bottles directly on top of tanks.
Mind you, the tactic requires testicles made of stainless steel!
The next generation of vertical-launch anti-tank missiles will probably promise to do the same mission with greater stand-off ranges. Making those stand-off missiles accurate will still require a brave rebel to hang a camera over the street.
 

jsport

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Russian UGV, but what if these are shaped charge grenades..
..can not find any more data on what is portrayed here.
 

drejr

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Those are projectors for RG-60 and similar smoke, gas, or stun grenades.
 

jsport

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Coiler

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Wonder how useful this would be for strongpoint-busting (which is how in practice almost all of them thrown in anger would have been used for).
 

jsport

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RkG-3 on a small UGV especially if BLOS capable would be an nightmare in any urban environment. If swarming AI enables horrendous.
 

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