Saturday 16 December 2017

Weapon was used in RIRA attack on MI6

Don Lavery

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.

Irish Independent

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