Country of origin
Rocket weight 5 kg
Rate of fire
Range of effective fire
is an incendiary rocket launcher manufactured in China by NORINCO.
Intended to engage targets traditionally dealt-with using
flamethrowers, it has a much longer range, allowing the user to
attack from a relatively safer distance. The most distinctive
feature of the FHJ-84 is its over/under twin-barrel layout.
Its full People's Liberation Army (PLA) designation is rather
interesting, literally meaning "Type 84 infantry 62 millimeter
anti-chemical rocket". The implication of this description is that
the FHJ-84 is meant to be used to neutralize chemical weapon
contamination, but while stockpiles of some chemical agents can be
destroyed by burning them, neutralizing those already dispersed
typically requires special chemical compounds. As only incendiary
and smoke-laying munitions for the FHJ-84 have been noted, it would
appear that the "FHJ" designation is deliberately misleading.
Most of the
details of the FHJ-84's origins and development have never been
published; to the West, this weapon simply seemed to "appear" in the
late 1980s, and little publicly released information on the system
has so far been forthcoming from the PLA. What little is known is
that the FHJ-84's projectiles were developed from those of the Type
70-1, a 62 mm anti-tank rocket launcher fielded in the mid-1970s.
The FHJ has
a distinctive twin-tube design in an "over-under" configuration,
with a small gap between the launch tubes. The tubes are joined by
three brackets, one each at the front of the muzzle and the back of
the venturi, and one far aft at the front of the venturi. The aft
ends of the launch tubes are wrapped in thin metal jackets. Swivels
for a canvas sling are fitted to the right side of the weapon on the
upper tube, located on the right side of the muzzle bracket and the
right side of the aft carry handle bracket. The firing unit is
rectangular, with an
pistol grip and trigger group, lending a vaguely pistol-like
ribbed wooden carrying handle is attached to the upper tube by a
pair of brackets at either end, and overhangs the weapon in a fixed
position. A long bipod is fitted to the bottom of the lower tube,
which may be folded against the underside of the weapon when not in
use. Interestingly, the bipod's hinge may be rotated 90 degrees
counter-clockwise, allowing the launch tubes to be orientated
horizontally when firing from a prone position.
of the FHJ-84 was developed from the one used in the Type 70-1 62 mm
single-use, single-shot anti-tank rocket launcher. Weapons,
such as the FHJ-84, are primarily meant to engage fortifications and
enemy personnel holed-up in structures or thick foliage. They can
also be employed to great effect against thin-skinned vehicles (such
as trucks, jeeps, and field cars). The FHJ-84 can also be used
effectively against armored vehicles, though it would require a
direct hit on an engine deck, wheels, running gear, or ideally an
open hatch, as even the thinnest armor can be expected to defeat
The FHJ-84 can be operated by a single operator, but
maintaining its specified rate of fire requires a crew of 2, with
the second operator serving as a loader and carrying reload rockets.
is issued in air-tight dark green metal tubes, with a thick
orange-colored jacket on the front end. These are typically carried
in a twin-tube casing holding two rounds, though individual launch
containers may also be loaded. Only the wider front end of the
launch container is actually loaded into the weapon, and as a result
the FHJ-84 becomes significantly longer and more rear-heavy when
Two types of projectiles have been fielded for the FHJ-84; an
incendiary round and a smoke-laying round. A single projectile
weighs 5 kg. As a result, loading the launcher with two rounds will
more than double its weight.
used in the incendiary projectile is "Pyrogel", a compound that
burns at 800-1 000 degrees Celsius. Pyrogel is similar in
composition to the more widely known Napalm, but contains metallic
compounds that significantly increase its combustion temperature and
duration, and also make it much more difficult to extinguish.
The smoke round for the FHJ-84 is believed to employ a white
phosphorous filler. It is the most common filler in smoke-laying
munitions, due to its ability to quickly create broad and billowing
clouds of extremely thick smoke. As white phosphorus burns at
temperatures exceeding 2 760 degrees Celsius, the smoke round also
has a substantial incendiary capability (though white phosphorus
munitions especially designed to lay smoke usually combust very
rapidly, as faster combustion produces more smoke).
projectiles appear to be differentiated with differently-colored
stripes, with one type having two red stripes on its midsection, and
the other having a red and white stripe (both have a red stripe on
the back end). It is unclear which of these are the incendiary or
smoke rounds, however.
A telescopic day sight is fitted to the left side of the
upper tube, which may be folded down against the side of the weapon.
As little else has been publicized about these optics, their
sighting range is effectively unknown.
The sight only has a 1x power, and consequently offers no
magnification, and due to its placement only allows for the weapon
to be fired from the left shoulder. The FHJ-84 is rated for an
effective range of 200 m against a point target, and a maximum range
of 500 m against an area target. The minimum effective range is
rated as 25 m; firing a rocket filled with military incendiary
agents at a target closer than this distance is inadvisable, for
reasons that should be obvious.
FHJ-84 was initially issued in limited quantities mostly to special
forces units, by the 2000s it had been produced in greater
quantities, and issued to more conventional formations. If its heavy
presence in Chinese military parades is any indication, the FHJ-84
is now extensively employed by PLA combat engineering units and the
People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Marines.
The only confirmed users of the FHJ-84 are China and Sri
Lanka. Awareness of Sri Lanka's use of this weapon has oddly eluded
most defense media as of late 2018, despite publicized photos of Sri
Lankan soldiers using the FHJ-84 in training. It is unknown how many
other nations use the FHJ-84, or if it will continue to proliferate.
The production status of the FHJ-84 is unpublished, so it
isn't known when production began or ended (assuming it *has*
ended), how many were produced, or if it remains in development. As
such, this weapon is as shrouded in mystery today as when it was
first noticed by Western intelligence agencies.
FHJ-01: This is a second-generation FHJ-84, with an improved
day sight, and a new type of incendiary projectile.
FHJ-02: Man-portable rocket launcher with 7 launch tubes,
which is operated by remote control. It is unclear whether this
launcher uses the ammunition from the FHJ-84 or the FHJ-01.
Likely the inspiration for the FHJ-84, the US M202 FLASH was one of
the first multi-shot man-portable rocket launchers, and one of the
first incendiary rocket launchers. It is much larger and bulkier
than the FHJ-84, but boasts twice as many launch tubes.
RPO Rys: This huge Soviet 94 mm rocket launcher fires a large
rocket containing 4 liters of napalm, which causes a sizable inferno
upon impact. A loaded RPO Rys is also much larger and heavier than
even a loaded FHJ-84. It has only a single launch tube.
is basically an RPO-A Shmel with an incendiary filler, rather than
it's more familiar thermobaric compound. It performs much like the
rocket used in the RPO Rys, though it is filled with Pyrogel rather
than napalm. Unlike the M202 FLASH, RPO Rys, or the FHJ-84, the RPO-Z
is a single-use weapon.
DP-64: This Russian weapon is actually a grenade launcher,
but it has an "over-under" double barrel configuration which is
evocative of the FHJ-84.
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