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The KBP Instruments Design Bureau, headquartered in the Russian town of Tula and currently operating under the auspices of the ROSTEC conglomerate, is one of the world's top players in the field of anti-tank and combat missile and rocket systems, including shoulder-fired launchers.
A long-time provider of the PUS-7V training system for the RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher, the KBP Instruments Design Bureau achieved an important breakthrough in the late 1980s with the launch of the RPO-A "Shmel" 93mm shoulder-fired thermobaric rocket launcher.
More recently, a shoulder-fired launcher loaded with a 90mm thermobaric rocket-propelled grenade with a thermobaric payload has been launched by KBP: dubbed the RPO-M PDM-A "Shmel-M", it is a reloadable, modernized variant of the above-mentioned previous model.
This last variant has been used by the KBP Instruments Design Bureau as a basis for the development of a brand new compact, shoulder-fired multipurpose launcher that was first showcased in Russia at the INTERPOLITEX expo in October 2013, and first seen in Europe at the 2014 edition of the EUROSATORY expo, held at the nord-Villepinte exhibition and convention center at the outskirts of Paris, last June, 16th to 20th.
Dubbed the MGK "Bur", KBP's latest "compact grenade launching system" ("Малогабаритный Гранатомётный Комплекс", this being the meaning of the MGK achronym), was conceived to engage enemy infantry, either entrenched or in the open, as well as hostile light structures and lightly-armored vehicles.
The KBP MGK "Bur" system basically consists of two components: the launch unit and the self-contained rocket tube.
The polymer-made launch unit integrates a pistol grip, a trigger with a manual safety, a ribbed handguard, and a mounting bracket for Russian-type day and night sights such as optical sights, thermal or infrared sighting units, laser rangefinder, and such. Optical sighting units can be attached to the launch unit with a quick-detach bracket.
The fibreglass self-contained rocket tube, or launch tube, is pre-loaded from factory with a 62mm rocket-propelled grenade that offers a 950-metres overall range and may effectively engage targets up to 650 metres away.
Two types of payloads are available for the "Bur" 62mm rocket-propelled grenades: high-explosive fragmentation warheads (HE-FRAG) and thermobaric grenades, which upon detonation quickly consumes oxygen in the target area to generate a extreme-temperature explosion and a long blast wave; as a consequence, the target area is rapidly devoided of oxygen and engulfed in high-temperature flame − a radical measure to eradicate structures, vehicles, and of course hostile personnel.
The MGK "Bur" shoulder-fired compact rocket-propelled grenade launcher is 742mm long overall with the self-contained rocket tube attached to the launch unit; overall weight tops 4.5 to 5 kilograms, depending from the optical sighting system attached.
This makes the MGK "Bur" one of the lightest and most compact launchers of its category, extremely maneuverable and portable, as well as usable in confined spaces (30m² at least, to prevent the danger related to the backblast). The minimum engagement range for the MGK "Bur" launcher is 25 metres.
Once the MGK "Bur" launcher is discharged, it can be reloaded for further use: reloading is as easy as detaching the empty rocket tube from the launch unit, discarding it, and attaching the launch unit to a fresh tube.
The procedure may be familiar to some readers, as it's similar to the reloading procedure for the German-made Panzerfaust 3 rocket launcher − used by countless Armed Forces worldwide − and can be carried on in a matter of seconds by a single user. The firing unit can be reused for about 500 times; also, the KBP Instruments Design Bureau offers a harness system that allows the MGK "Bur" operators to carry up to three spare launch tubes.