PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti-tank) was a man-portable anti-tank weapon in service with the British Army from 1942 to 1958. It was used by the British infantry in North Africa and Europe, during World War II. It was also employed by Common Wealth forces in the Korean War. Although the PIAT had been designed as an anti-tank weapon, it was also employed against enemy pillboxes and machine gun nests. Despite the fact it used a tube as a launching platform, it was not a rocket launcher, such as the German Panzerschreck or the American Bazooka, for it did not use the chemical energy of a propellant. To fire the shaped-charge grenade, the Project Infantry Anti-tank relied on the spigot mortar principle, using the coiled spring energy, such as mortars do. When the trigger was pressed, a spring was released, causing the spigot to strike the charge that powered the grenade forward, firing it from the tube. The grenade was not loaded from the rear end, as the bazooka, but from the muzzle of the weapon, detonating upon contact with the target. It had an effective range of 101 m.
Type: infantry anti-tank weapon
Length: 90 cm (3 ft)
Weight: 14.5 kg
Grenade weight: 1.36 kg
Muzzle velocity: 136 m/s