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Anti-tank rocket launcher


Though a promising and very powerful weapon, the Greek ARIS IV rocket launcher was not accepted to service

Country of origin Greece
Entered service -
Caliber 113 mm
Rocket weight 4.5 kg
Launcher weight 3 kg
Weight (loaded) 7.5 kg
Length 1.4 mm
Muzzle velocity 260 m/s
Sighting range 330 m
Range of effective fire 330 m
Maximum range more than 400 m
Armor penetration 700 mm


   Developed by EBO ("Elliniki Biomihania Oplon", or "Hellenic Arms Industry") in 1984, the ARIS IV ("Anti-tank Rocket Infantry System") was a disposable, man-portable, single-shot anti-tank weapon. This anti-tank rocket system was one of the lightest and most compact weapon in its class, as well as one of the most powerful. It is also distinguished by being 100% designed, constructed, and funded in Greece, and made from locally-produced materials.

   The launcher consists of a cylindrical fiberglass tube with octagonal foam rubber shock absorbers around both the muzzle and venturi, a contoured foam rubber shoulder rest, a foam rubber block containing the sight, and a cylindrical plastic foregrip. A one-hand carrying strap is fitted to the top of the launch tube, while a canvas sling is fitted to the right side. The arming pin and its pull ring are located on the right side of the tube, just behind the sighting unit, while the trigger bar is located on the right side of the tube directly across from the sight.

   The ARIS IV launches a rocket projectile with a solid fuel sustainer motor. It weighs 4.5 kg, has a muzzle velocity of 260 m/sec, and a maximum range in excess of 400 m.

   Two warheads were developed for the ARIS IV; a shaped charge High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) munition, and an anti-personnel munition (probably an High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) round). During testing, the shaped charge was able to penetrate the equivalent of more than 700 mm of steel. Both warheads weigh approximately 1.4 kg. A standoff probe is fitted to the nose of the projectile; this may have contained a precursor charge for defeating Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), but literature on the ARIS IV was unclear on the matter.

   Despite the excellent performance demonstrated by the ARIS IV, the Hellenic Army ultimately opted to purchase the German-made Panzerfaust 3 instead. Their stocks of anti-tank rocket ammunition by this time were perilously close to their expiration dates, and it was doubted that EBO could complete the development of the ARIS IV and produce them quickly enough to replenish the stockpiles. This attitude was further reinforced by the fact that financially, EBO was barely staying afloat.

   Without the financial or political benefits from having an order from their own government, EBO faced a hard and uphill battle to find an export customer for this weapon, and they ultimately decided to abandon the program in 1987. This was only a minor defeat for EBO however, as the ARIS IV was relatively inexpensive to develop.



   Article by BLACKTAIL

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