Weapon was used in RIRA attack on MI6
Published 14/05/2010 | 05:00
One of the two rocket launchers seized yesterday by gardai, a Russian-made RPG-22, was used by the Real IRA in an attack on MI6 headquarters in London 10 years ago.
On that occasion, the rocket-propelled grenade -- which is capable of penetrating up to a metre of reinforced concrete or armour -- did not cause much damage because the windows of the building housing the British Secret Intelligence Service were heavily reinforced.
The weapon is a light, one-shot throwaway rocket launcher and can penetrate 400mm of armour on a 60-ton tank before exploding.
It is similar to the Swedish AT-4 used by the Irish Defence Forces but has a smaller warhead.
The rocket has a range of about 200 metres and can be bought in the black market in eastern Europe for about €300.
It has been replaced in the Russian Army by a more powerful weapon but it can still be found in other former Eastern Bloc armies.
The other rocket launcher found is a similar disposable type but has not yet been identified.