RBJ-CS

From Atlas
RBJ-CS
RBJ-CS.png
Type Anti-structure weapon
Place of origin Astronea
Service history
In service 2000-present
Used by Astronean Armed Forces
Production history
Designer Arlogh Ballistics
Designed 1995
Manufacturer ACC Defence Division
Unit cost $12,000
Produced 2000-present
Specifications
Length 1,000 mm (39 in)
Crew 1

Caliber 90mm warhead
Muzzle velocity 250 m/s (820 ft/s)
Effective range 600 m (660 yd)

The RBJ-CS is a modern short-range, re-loadable rocket launcer. It fires 90mm rockets that comes in three variations; MP-multi purpose for defeating armour and fortifications, AS for anti structure, able to demolish entire buildings and WB for wall breaching, a unique warhead which is specifically designed to punch a large man sized hole in walls, allowing it to be breached from the other side.

The RBJ was designed in the late 90s as part of the Astronean Armed Forces' urban warfare program. Design specifications called for a dual purpose system for both anti vehicle and demolition roles. Featuring a carry handle for additional mobility and handling in close quarters, the RBJ, like the MP-ATW, is able to be fired from confined spaces, featuring a "countermass" system which counteracts the recoil of the weapon upon firing.

Preliminary designs for the RBJ-CS were drawn up in 1995, but the first prototypes weren't produced until 1998. The initial design of the RBJ was as a single-use launcher, however this was changed to a breech-loaded re-loadable launcher in 1999. This was done after the counter-mass system was perfected for a reusable tube.

Since its adoption, the RBJ-CS has seen action in numerous conflicts with the Astronean Armed Forces, and has seen some success as an export weapon. Its ease of use and versatility in close quarters operations has made it a standard weapon for the Astronean Republic Commandos, who operate frequently in urban environments. Tactics involve "mouse-holing", creating a man-sized hole in a wall, building or other obstructions to allow the fluid movement of troops through a condensed area. This has proven effective for navigating large urban complexes such as slums, as well as circumventing ambushes and kill zones to surprise enemies from an unexpected flank.

History[edit]

In the early 90s, the face of increased global urbanization, infantry elements of the Astronean Republican Army (ARA) were finding themselves fighting in more close quarters and urban environments than in previous years. To address this, the Astronean Ministry of Defence began a research and development program to augment the AAF's urban warfare capabilities. Initial reports found that there was a distinct need for wall-breaching capable weaponry. More than a request, it became a specific doctrinal requirement for ARA squads to have some ability to breach walls and other structures. Current weapons (grenade launchers and rockets such as the D-PAT) were found inadequate for the task. As a result, designs for a new weapon to meet this doctrine shift were produced. Arlogh Ballistics, the foremost designer in rocket and missile technologies, produced the first design variants in 1995. Their design, designated the XBJ (experimental breaching device), described a single-use weapon that was light enough to be carried and operated by a single man, while being able to fire safely in close quarters without risk of harm to the operator. The program was formally approved in 1997, with the first prototypes produced in 1998. The shift to a reloadable design was made in 1999, and the first production variants of the RBJ-CS entered service at the turn of the 21st century.

Design[edit]

The RBJ-CS's design makes extensive use of fiberglass and composite materials, reducing the overall weight to under 10 kilograms. Earlier designs of the RBJ-CS used a manual pull-out rod that would be enabled on the nose of a munition's warhead before loading. This would prime the weapon's breaching mode. Although simple, the practicality of this design inhibited versatility; if an operator needed to change modes, he would have to unload and reload the weapon. Later designs addressed this issue with the addition of an electronic selector incorporated into the weapon's targeting module. A laser rangefinder and digital IR/NV optic automatically discriminates between targets and estimate ranges, changing modes as appropriate. This mode can be disabled and modes switched manually by the operator.

The countermass design of the weapon consists of shredded plastic, which is launched out of the rear of the weapon when it is fired. This plastic is rapidly slowed by air resistance, allowing the weapon to be fired safely within an enclosed space. In addition, the positioning of the countermass takes into consideration the centre of gravity of the weapon to ensure good balance for better accuracy. The plastic is pre-packed into every warhead.

The weapon is normally operated by a two-man crew, one firing and one carrying the ammunition to reload the weapon. The RBJ-CS is reloaded by opening the hinged breech at the rear of the weapon and sliding in a projectile, a proprietary 90mm unguided rocket.

Variants[edit]

The RBJ-CS is a modular launcher, capable of firing various munitions. All rounds are able to be loaded and fired from a standard launcher. Each tube has a life expectancy of 130 rounds before needing to be replaced.

90mm MP[edit]

Multi-purpose rocket with a warhead effective against a wide variety of ground targets, from light armoured vehicles to fortified positions and urban walls. This is achieved with a dual-mode fuse, which automatically discriminates between hard and soft targets rather than requiring the operator to manually make the selection. A dedicated targeting device incorporates an IR/NV optical sight and laser rangefinder to provide a high hit probability.

90mm WB[edit]

Specialized wall-breaching round, featuring an Explosively-Formed Ring (EFR) warhead that breaches a man-sized hole, between 75 cm (30 in) to 100 cm (39 in) across, in typical urban walls.

90mm AS[edit]

Anti-structure round with an advanced tandem warhead that can also be set between two modes. The anti-emplacement mode uses an enhanced blast effect to defeat structures and fortifications, while the penetrating/mouse-holing mode defeats light armoured vehicles and creates mouseholes in urban walls.