It has been announced that Germany’s Bundeswehr has commissioned Dynamit Nobel Defense to provide 3,000 Panzerfaust 3-IT (DM72A1) rockets to augment and replenish existing stocks. The decision indicates that Germany is committing to the Panzerfaust 3 as their primary infantry anti-tank weapon for the foreseeable future.
This is significant, since the Bundeswehr began a review of infantry anti-tank capabilities in 2017, which was forseen to lead to the replacement or augmentation of the Panzerfaust 3. This was because, according to ESUT.de, while the Panzerfaust 3 is seen as an acceptable weapon, its ergonomics and weight are inferior to more modern designs and there is no more room to add additional features to counter future threats, such as a counter-APS (active protection system) capability. DND’s own RGW-series of disposable launchers are said to have better growth potential, but only special forces in the Bundeswehr have adopted RGW-series launchers for anti-tank duty.
The bulk of the Bundeswehr may be sticking to Panzerfaust 3s for cost reasons. The RGW-series of launchers are fully disposable, with the firing unit and optic (in some cases) being thrown away with the launcher after use. In contrast, the Panzerfaust 3 features a reusable optic/firing unit onto which the rounds are loaded, similar to its predecessors. The decision may also have been made for practical reasons, as most of Germany’s likely adversaries do not field APS yet. While Russia’s next-generation T-14 Armata features an APS, serial production of it continues to be delayed. The bulk of tanks in the Russian arsenal do not have APS. As such, the “growth potential” of the RGW-series of launchers is not needed yet, and continued procurement of Panzerfaust 3s can continue.