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MATADOR

The MATADOR (Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DOoR) is a 90 mm man-portable, disposable anti-armor weapon system developed in collaboration between Israel and Singapore. It is an updated version of the German-Singaporean Armbrust design, and operates on the same principles. The development of this weapon began in 2000 and the MATADOR will eventually replace the German-Singaporean Armbrust Light Anti-tank Weapon, which has been in service since the 1980s.

The MATADOR was developed jointly by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), in collaboration with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND) joint team.

Capabilities

The MATADOR is among the lightest in its class. The warhead is effective against both vehicle armour and brick walls. The weapon has little backblast, making it safe for operation in confined spaces.

The MATADOR is supposed to be capable of defeating the armour of most known armoured personnel carriers and light tanks in the world. The dual-capability warhead, when acting in the delay mode, creates an opening greater than 450 mm in diameter in a double brick wall, and acts as an anti-personnel weapon against those behind the wall, offering an unconventional means of entry when fighting in built-up areas.

The MATADOR's projectile is claimed to be insensitive to wind due to its propulsion system, which results in a highly accurate weapon system.

Warhead

The warhead can be used in both High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) and High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) modes against armor and walls or other fortifications respectively. Selection is done by extending a "probe" (most likely a fuse extender) for HEAT mode and leaving the "probe" retracted for HESH mode.

Countermass system

Similar to the Armbrust, the countermass counteracts the recoil of the weapon upon firing. The countermass 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.

Variants



Further variants of MATADOR have also been developed by Rafael and Dynamit Nobel Defence, designed primarily for anti-structure use by soldiers operating in dense urban environments.

;MATADOR-MP :Multi-purpose weapon with a warhead effective against a wide variety of ground targets, from light armoured vehicles to fortified positions and urban walls. As with the initial MATADOR, this is achieved with a dual-mode fuse, which has been improved on the MATADOR-MP such that it now automatically discriminates between hard and soft targets rather than requiring the operator to manually make the selection. A dedicated targeting device, mounted on its Picatinny rail, incorporates a reflex sight and laser rangefinder to provide a high hit probability.

Operators

Current operators

  • : The German Army has ordered 1,000 MATADOR-AS under the name RGW90 AS with scalable anti-structure munition. Also the German Army uses the LRMP version (range: 1,200 meters) under the designation „Wirkmittel 90“
  • : Israel Defense Forces.
  • : RGW60 variant, first seen in September 2018, 3,000 units aprox.
  • : under the name RGW90
  • : Replaced the Armbrust in the Singapore Armed Forces.
  • : Slovenian Ground Force, locally designated as RGW 90.
  • : British Army has ordered the new Anti-Structures Munition (ASM) version of the MATADOR from Dynamit Nobel Defence.
  • : Used by the Vietnam People's Navy's marine force.