Rocket launchers are weapons that launch unguided projectiles powered by a rocket motor: they differ from missile launchers, which fire guided projectiles, and recoilless rifles, which use a recoilless launch principle but fire their projectile using conventional gun propellant. Many are disposable and can be carried by a single soldier. Rocket launchers are held on the shoulder when firing and can have a telescopic aiming device, or scope. Rocket launchers can be used to attack vehicles, including helicopters, tanks, and trucks. They can also be used against personnel and materiel.
A multitude of rocket types exist for various potential targets, including anti-infantry, anti-structure and anti-tank.
The backblast danger area is a cone-shaped area behind the rocket launcher where hot gases are expelled when the rocket launcher is fired. In confined spaces like urban areas, operators and ground personnel are in more danger of being injured by the backblast.