They wrote about us in CZDEFENCE: Anti-tank ammunition with Czech pedigree

At the beginning of 2024, STV GROUP and the Ministry of Defence entered into a long-term framework agreement for the supply of ammunition for RPG-7 anti-tank small arms.


Since the 1960s, RPG-7 anti-tank small arms in various modifications have been a stable armament of many armies, especially in the former "Warsaw Pact" countries or export markets, where Eastern armouries supplied RPG-7 systems in hundreds of thousands. The system is lightweight and therefore easily portable. Despite the flightiness of the system, development has not stopped and upgrades have been made both to the launchers, for example by using lighter materials and improving efficiency with advanced optical and electro-optical sights, but also by developing new and more effective types of ammunition.

The undeniable advantage of the RPG-7 over single-use anti-tank missiles and systems is the reusability of the weapon and the variety of ammunition carried. It is standardly used in pairs of an armourer and an assistant armourer who carries the ammunition. The latter can carry several missiles, in different types to destroy different targets. The weapon itself weighs about 7 kg and the weight of the projectiles ranges from 1.8 kg (for the shrapnel OFG-7V) to 2.3 kg (for the thermobaric TB-7VM). The use of the "erpege" is economically advantageous, with virtually no competition in terms of price and performance. Another huge advantage of the RPG-7 is the simple operation of the weapon with front loading, which even an untrained operator can learn in a few hours of training. Because of its effectiveness, simplicity and economic advantage, the weapon and ammunition is used in the Czech Republic not only by members of the Czech Army, but also by active reserves.

The effectiveness of RPG-7 weapons and their modifications can be seen on a daily basis in the fighting in Ukraine, where the ability to destroy enemy mechanised units, logistic targets or infantry plays a key role in defence. While videos depict the overwhelming effects of Javelin smart missiles, for example, in trench warfare or urban environments, the RPG-7's ability as an effective and widely deployable tool against armoured or otherwise protected targets, including concrete structures, is absolutely crucial.


For armoured rifles, which are designed to fire hundreds of rounds, ammunition availability and effectiveness are logically crucial. Similarly, the cost of training the users, who have to "feel" the weapon and ammunition during training and learn to operate it perfectly, must be taken into account. Therefore, it is important that the Ministry of Defence has found a Czech partner that produces the ammunition and is able to supply it in the required quantities and on the required dates.

STV GROUP signed a framework agreement with the Ministry of Defence at the beginning of 2024 for more than CZK 3 billion including VAT, which, according to our information, will last until 2031 with the first delivery in 2025. This follows a previous framework agreement from 2021, under which the last delivery is currently being made and had a total limit of CZK 750 million incl. The long-term framework agreement with defined rules for sub-orders and a robust financial framework gives the Czech Army confidence that the ammunition for armoured vehicles will be delivered steadily and at times and volumes that not only guarantee the arming of units and the filling of depots, but also ensure the implementation of training.

 STV GROUP is also involved in the supply of ammunition for the RPG-7 as a subcontractor to the state-owned company Explosia, which is a supplier of black powder for igniters, smokeless belt powder for ejector powder cartridges and solid propellant for rocket engines. Thus, it can be said that the supply of ammunition for the RPG-7 is another functioning project not only supporting the strategic independence of the Czech Republic, but also cooperation between key defence industry enterprises.

Four types of missiles are contracted under the framework agreement for ammunition. The upgraded PG-7VM anti-tank missile has the capability to penetrate armour up to 300 mm thick and is therefore effective primarily against heavily armoured targets, mechanised units and fixed field shelters and for urban warfare. The second item is the TB-7VM thermobaric, which is particularly effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles or trucks. The composition of the thermobaric warhead cartridge is a unique development of STV GROUP. The OFG-7V anti-personnel munition is mainly used against enemy troops in open terrain or infantry hidden in trenches or light shelters. It has a longer range and can be used to destroy lightly armored or unarmored vehicles. The fourth type is the PG-7VM PRACTICE-T missile, which is inert, i.e. without an active fuse or cartridge. It is the mass and dimensional equivalent of the "live" PG-7VM anti-tank and is used for cost-effective training. The missile is equipped with a tracking device so that the shooter or instructor can see its flight path.


STV GROUP is the only manufacturer of large-calibre ammunition in the Czech Republic. Its production portfolio includes not only tank ammunition, but also artillery ammunition of the eastern calibre 122mm and 152mm. From 2023, production of 155 mm NATO artillery ammunition is also underway. It is in this calibre that STV GROUP will be the Ministry of Defence's main supplier of ammunition for CAESAR 8x8CZ guns. This is a great promise not only for the modernization and stable supply of our artillerymen, but also for increasing the attractiveness of Czech exports abroad, where there is a shortage of artillery ammunition. STV GROUP also produces other types of ammunition - mortar ammunition of 81 mm and 120 mm calibre in both Eastern and NATO calibre, or tank ammunition.

However, the activities of the armaments company do not fall only in the field of ammunition production. There is also a lot of activity in the halls where heavy combat equipment is repaired. Namely, T-72 tanks or infantry fighting vehicles in various modifications. It is the tanks that are fitted with blocks of reactive armour, which have their "birth certificate" also written in Polička. STV GROUP is practically a unique manufacturer of these reactive armour blocks Kontakt-1 for Ukraine, where they find their application on a wide range of combat equipment and protect vehicles and soldiers, for example, against RPG-7 anti-tank weapons.

STV GROUP also fulfils orders of our army for repairs of self-propelled gun howitzers vz.77 DANA and has the capability to repair and maintain not only gun artillery systems but also rocket launchers. STV GROUP therefore supplies both weapon systems and ammunition for them.

Michal Pivoňka, CZDEFENCE


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