Yesterday King Abdullah II and Russian Technologies CEO Sergei Chemezov attended the factory’s inauguration, officially a factory of the JADARA Equipment and Defence Systems Company (JRESCO), about 10 miles northeast of the Jordan’s capital city of Amman. Russian media is reporting that when the Jordanian King saw the weapon in action, he stood and applauded for several minutes (as is often the prerogative of kings at weapon exhibitions).
“The RPG-32 is one of the most advanced weapon systems [in the world] capable of effectively engaging the majority of armored vehicles as well as other military targets,” Chemezov told reporters.
The new weapons factory has been built and equipped by Jordan while Rosoboronexport, part of Russian Technologies, is said to be supplying components. Grenade launchers will be assembled in Jordan while Russian engineers will oversee production.
The opening of the Jordan factory comes at a time when Russia is making, and being asked to make, significant arms related moves in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Currently the Russians, the Lebanese, the Syrians and Washington are all arguing over the alleged delivery of Russian-made S-300 air defense systems to Syria while a Libyan government representative recently implored Russian Technologies to resume contracts that were “frozen” throughout their recent conflict. If money talks, than the $4 billion the state run exporter claims to have lost since 2011 on canceled Libyan sales may speak volumes about the future of Russian made weapons in the region. As to the Syrian missiles, the Russians deny the shipment though 2011 documents confirm a deal was struck between the two governments.
How this will affect the future of the Jordan factory remains to be seen, though the country does share a several hundred mile border to the north with Syria.
Designed and developed by Bazalt Science & Production Association, the “Nashab” RPG-32 consists of a two-piece modular unit: one part is a reusable firing/sighting unit, described as the launcher, and the other is a disposable container holding either an anti-tank or thermobaric round. RPG-32 fires either 72.5 or 105mm rounds with a blast radius of 700 meters and has earned a reputation for its ability to be safely fired in semi-confined spaces (like those characteristic of urban warfare). Units are said to have a barrel life of around 200 firings.