RPG-16 antitank grenade launcher has been developed in late 1960s especially for Soviet airborne troops. Compared to the contemporary RPG-7, RPG-16 provided greater effective range and better accuracy, thanks to the smaller caliber warhead and more powerful rocket booster. Adopted in 1970, RPG-16 was widely used during Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, mostly against hardened fire positions and buildings and from stand-off ranges.
The RPG-16 is a shoulder fired, single-shot, smooth bore, recoilless launcher. It has a two-part, quick takedown barrel with venturi nozzle at the rear, fire control group with pistol grip, trigger and manual safety in the middle, and a folding bipod at the front. The fire control unit is of electric ignition type, with current generator being operated by the trigger pull. RPG-16 fires only one type of grenade, PG-16 HEAT. The warhead of the PG-16, unlike the warheads of the PG-2 and PG-7 grenades, has same caliber as the barrel of the launcher, so loaded grenade fits entirely inside the launcher. This combination type grenade has an RCL-type launch charge and a rocket booster, which is ignited automatically once the fired grenade is at safe distance from the shooter. RPG-16 has an integral iron sights, but usually is issued with 2.7X magnification telescope sight, designated PGO-16. This sight is basically the same as used on RPG-7 grenade launcher, but it has a different aiming reticle, optimized for PG-16 ballistics. The standard crew for RPG-16 is two men: the grenadier, who carries the launcher and two rounds, and assistant, who carries three more rounds.