Country of origin
Range of effective fire
Zolja (wasp) is an anti-tank rocket launcher, developed in the former
Yugoslavia. It is similar to the US
but more so the the Soviet Union's
The M80 saw action during Yugoslav wars. Currently it is used by the
former Yugoslav republics, including Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia. Also it has been exported to
Indonesia. Despite its obsolesce the M80 is still being produced.
Interestingly the launcher is produced in North Macedonia and the
rocket is produced in Serbia.
anti-tank rocket launcher is simple in design and technology. It is
a single-use aluminum tube, layered with fiberglass on the outside,
which fires a pre-loaded rocket. The launcher is carried
in a collapsed. It is
extended only prior to firing.
The Zolja can be made ready to fire in less than 10 seconds. Simple instructions
are printed on the side of the weapon. The weapon is cocked by
raising its rear sight. Once cocked, the safety cannot be activated,
posing a security threat. So in practice once the weapon is cocked,
the rocket has to be launched somewhere anyway.
stabilizing fins pop out of the rocket. The rocket has a shaped
charge warhead and penetrates 300 mm of steel armor. Such
penetration is not sufficient to destroy main battle tanks of today
or even of the 1970s. However, it is still useful against light
vehicles (where its armor penetration remains acceptable) and
bunkers (since it can penetrate around 1 000 mm of reinforced
can fly on for several hundred meters until it self-destructs, which
happens about 6 seconds after launch. For safety purposes, the
rocket does not arm until it has traveled 10 meters. The empty tube
cannot be reloaded. So once the rocket is launched the tube is
back-blast area of the M80 Zolja is 30 meters. Though the Zolja can
be used inside buildings, however these should be no walls at least
2 meters behind the gunner.
is equipped with simple flip-up sights and has a sighting range of
400 m. Maximum effective range against stationary target is 220 m.
Accuracy of this weapon is rather limited.
limited accuracy and penetration the M80 Zolja has its own
advantages. This weapon is cheap to produce, simple to use, small
and light. With a little extra training, one man in every squad
could carry one or two, giving each squad some anti-tank or
anti-vehicle capability. In the late 1970s Yugoslavia also adopted a
M79 Osa reloadable rocket
launcher, which had superior range and accuracy.