MATADOR ("Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DOoR"), also known as the RGW 90 ("Recoilless Grenade Weapon") by Dynamit Nobel and in Slovenian Service and Pzf 90 ("Panzerfaust 90") in German service, is a man-portable unguided launcher developed jointly by Israel, Germany and Singapore as an update to the Armbrust ATW. MATADOR uses a scaled-up version of the same countermass system where a mass of shredded plastic is ejected from the rear of the weapon on firing to counteract the force of the projectile being fired: as a result it is well suited to confined-space firing, only requiring a safe room volume of 530 cubic feet (15 cubic meters, or about the size of a 1-car garage with a six-foot ceiling). It uses a small booster charge to eject and a larger sustainer rocket motor to accelerate after leaving the tube: the system is technically a recoilless gun in terms of launching, though it is only capable of firing rocket-assisted projectiles.
The weapon is a one-piece launcher with the grips and sight mount permanently affixed to the fiberglass launch tube: it is issued with a simple optical sight, but has a picatinny rail to allow installation of other optics. MATADOR is primarily designed for urban combat, with a multirole warhead on the basic model (now known as HH for "HEAT-HESH") operated using a telescopic standoff rod as with dual-mode rockets for the Panzerfaust 3: with the probe extended the warhead functions as a hollow charge, retracted the explosive will impact the target before detonating, functioning like a HESH round and able to open an 18-inch hole in a double brick wall. The warhead is optimized for effectiveness on structures and is only effective against light tank and IFV grade armor: since it is only a single-stage HEAT effect it is easily stopped by reactive armor.
The series has been developed further: the MP (multipurpose) or LRMP (long range multipurpose) model features an improved warhead stated by Dynamit Nobel to be "programmable," presumably meaning the standoff rod does not need to be manually extended prior to firing, and is sold with a computerized fire control unit featuring a reflex sight with an integrated laser rangefinder which can produce an offset reticle mark for improved long-range shot placement. The AS (anti-structure) model features a tandem-change design for greater effect on multi-layer walls, and is said to be able to penetrate a three-layer brick wall: despite the tandem charge it is not optimised for effectiveness on armored targets and so is less effective against such targets than the standard model. The WB (wall breaching) variant is a specialised version without a multi-mode fuze, and has a large conical warhead that projects from the muzzle with a long, thin standoff rod. This is an unorthodox explosively formed ring warhead, which is designed to cut a man-sized (30-39in) entry hole into a three-layer brick wall at a range of 22-130 yards.
Production is licensed to Dynamit Nobel of Germany, Rafael Systems of Israel and ST Kinetics of Singapore. The first to adopt the MATADOR was the Singapore Armed Forces in 2000, followed by the Israeli Defense Force in 2009 (seeing their first combat use during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza the same year). The British Army ordered MATADOR-AS in 2009, with the German Army putting in an order for 1,000 MATADOR-AS launchers in 2012. Slovenia and the Vietnamese Navy have also adopted MATADOR.
The MATADOR rocket launcher appears in the following TV shows and video games, used by the following actors:
Type: Disposable recoilless launcher
Length: 39 in (99.1 cm)
Weight: 19.6 lbs (8.9 kg) with basic sight (MATADOR HH), 24.9 lbs (11.3 kg) with laser rangefinder and reflex sight (MATADOR-MP), 22 lbs (10 kg) with basic sight (MATADOR-AS), 28.7 lbs (13 kg) with reflex sight (MATADOR-WB)
Calibre: 90mm (3.5in)
Capacity: 1 rocket
Fire modes: Safe / fire, HH and MP HEAT with probe extended and HESH with probe collapsed, AS precursor charge penetrating mode with probe extended and direct effect with probe collapsed
|Ultimate Weapons||Rafael Representative||2010|
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