Country of origin
HEAT or HEFT
3 - 4.5 kg
Rate of fire
up to 3 rpm
Range of effective fire (against stationary targets)
Range of effective fire (against moving targets)
400 m of RHA
Israel Military Industries (IMI) in Israel, the B-300 anti-tank
rocket launcher was developed in the 1970s, entered service with the
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 1980, and remains in active service
with every nation that has so far adopted it. Its light and compact
design makes the B-300 ideal for use by paratroopers, marines, and
The origins of the B-300 are in the Yom Kippur War of 1973,
during which Israeli troops found that their M20 Super Bazooka and
rocket launchers were inadequate against the frontal armor of the
medium tank. Another shock was the unexpected effectiveness of the
rocket launcher against M48 and Centurion tanks, which stood in
stark contrast to the difficulties in attaining tank kills with the
weapons the Israelis possessed. The IDF was also keenly aware of the
development of even more thickly-armored tanks at the time, such as
the Chieftain and the
all of these trends clearly demanded the acquisition of a new
man-portable anti-tank weapon.
The Israeli government also directed that the new weapon be
developed in Israel, in light of the fickle commitments made by many
of the IDF's suppliers in earlier years (up to and including the
aftermath of the Yom Kippur War). Development began in the
mid-1970s, and was completed by the end of that decade. The
resulting B-300 entered service with the IDF in 1980. It was assumed
by many journalists and analysts that the weapon being developed in
Israel was based on the RPG-7, but the public unveiling of the B-300
surprised many outsiders, because its configuration was quite
unexpected; the B-300 instead more closely resembled the French
F1. In turn, this also led many to assume that the B-300 was derived
directly from the LRAC F1, but this is clearly not the case, given
their differing architecture and ammunition (not to mention their
very different bores, at 82 mm and 89 mm).
The launch tube is long, narrow, and cylindrical, with a
slight aft bottleneck. Two brackets (usually painted black) are
wrapped around the tube for reinforcement; one about 100 mm behind
the muzzle, and the other on the chamber. There are two pistol grips
on the launcher; the foregrip and the firing grip, which are mounted
close together fore and aft, respectively, close to the chamber. The
foregrip is simply used to help stabilize the weapon, while the
firing grip includes the trigger group, fire selector, and a safety
grip. Mounted at the bottom of the venturi are a folding bipod, and
a folding shoulder rest (which may be lowered independently from one
another, or simultaneously). Finally, the launcher actually forms
only the front half of the weapon; the rear half is attached when
the container for the rocket is plugged into the chamber.
The iron sights are mounted on the left side of the launch
tube, and consist of a front bead and a rear notch, along with a
rail for mounting a variety of optics. Attachable optics include a
simple stadiametric telescope sight and a much larger passive night
The ammunition of the B-300 is issued in sealed fiberglass
launcher-containers. These are sealed airtight to protect against
sand, dust, rain, and other typical environmental hazards, and the
containers can even be safely submerged in shallow water without
leaking, provided they are undamaged. Though speaking of which, the
containers are also designed with rough handling in mind, as even
troops with outstanding training and experience in munition handling
can't be expected to handle the containers gingerly while under
fire. After the rocket is launched and the container is detached, it
may simply be discarded.
Two rockets were fielded for the B-300; one with a HEAT
(High-Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead, and one with a HEFT
(High-Explosive Follow-Through) warhead. The HEAT round is the
primary projectile for the launcher, and boasts a shaped charge
warhead capable of penetrating the equivalent of 400 mm of rolled
homogenous steel armor,
adequate to defeat nearly every tank in service at the time of the
B-300's introduction. However, the HEAT round has since lost some of
its luster, as it lacks a tandem charge to defeat explosive reactive
and doesn't have enough penetration to defeat the frontal armor of
most tanks introduced after 1980. The HEFT round carries an unshaped
HE warhead with a significant blast and shrapnel radius, and is most
effective against personnel, unarmored vehicles, and unhardened
structures. It is also from HEFT's effect against structures that it
earns its name; upon impact, it can penetrate walls and other
obstacles prior to detonation, so that it explodes inside. Needless
to say, a HEFT warhead exploding inside a confined space (such as an
apartment, pillbox, or a small house) guarantees that anyone inside
will be incapacitated or killed. The probability of destroying an
airborne helicopter a direct hit by the HEFT warhead is also
extremely high --- although the probability of actually achieving a
direct hit with a single rocket on the first shot is obviously quite
fire with iron sights is 200 m against stationary targets and 150 m
against moving targets. Range of fire with optical sight is 300 m
against stationary targets and 200 m against moving targets.
The HEAT round may also be used against the same targets as
the HEFT round, although it is significantly less effective against
them. Conversely, the HEFT can also be used against some light
armor, but can't penetrate any of the armor on any main battle tank.
The B-300 may be fired from standing, kneeling, or prone
positions, though the operator must lie at an angle to avoid being
burned by the exhaust. The conical backblast is dangerous to
personnel, ammunition, equipment, flammable materials, and so on out
to a distance of 30 m behind the weapon, and must be kept clear of
these. Hearing protection is required for personnel in the caution
area, between 30 m and 90 m behind the weapon, and any dust or debris
inside the danger area may be thrown across the caution area with
significant force. The B-300's ammunition do not have countermasses,
and are too dangerous to fire from an enclosed area.
Little is known about the combat results of the B-300, save
that it was used by the IDF during the 1st and 2nd Intifada, the
2006 Lebanon War, and the Gaza War. It was most commonly used by the IDF's paratroopers and special forces, to whom it was most widely
The B-300's known operators include Azerbaijan, Chile,
Estonia, India, Israel, Mexico, Singapore, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. In
addition, the B-300 has also been manufactured under license in the
US as the
Mk.153 SMAW, though the modifications required by the US
Marine Corps have transformed this weapon and its ammunition into
proprietary products; the launchers and ammunition of the B-300 and
SMAW are not interchangeable.
The unit cost of the B-300 and its ammunition are unknown,
but the weapon itself is no longer produced.
This French-built 89 mm anti-tank weapon was the inspiration for the
B-300. It has been suggested by many sources that the B-300 is
simply a copy of the LRAC F1, but shape of the launcher, the
diameter of the bore, and the configuration of the various
accessories are all completely different.
Mk.153 SMAW: US license-produced derivative of the B-300.
Though the modifications required by the US Marine Corps have
transformed this weapon and its ammunition into proprietary
products. The launchers and ammunition of the B-300 and SMAW are not interchangeable.
This anti-tank rocket launcher is actively used
by the the United States, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Taiwan.
FT5: Like the B-300, this South African RPG weapon mimics the
design attributes of the LRAC F1, but the FT5 is not actually
derived from the latter. The FT5 is used by the South African
Defence Force, but they have been placed in storage.
M79 Osa: Yugoslav anti-tank weapon similar to the B-300 (and
many others, as you see here), but otherwise an original weapon. It
is used by former Yugoslav states, and by several non-state groups.
SHIPON: This newer anti-tank weapon is based on the B-300,
but has significantly improved power and performance, advanced
optics (and even a state-of-the-art fire control system), and the
rockets are loaded entirely into the launcher. It is gradually
replacing the B-300 in front-line use in the IDF.
There is also a version of the B-300 that is mounted on
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