A tandem-charge weapon is an explosive device or projectile
A projectile is any object projected into space by the exertion of a force. Although a thrown baseball is technically a projectile too, the term more commonly refers to a weapon....

 that has two or more stages of detonation. It is effective against cage armor
Cage armor
Slat armor is a type of vehicle armor designed to protect against anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade attacks...

, which is designed to protect an armored vehicle (mostly tanks) against anti-tank
Anti-tank warfare
Anti-tank warfare was created by the need to seek technology and tactics to destroy tanks and their supporting infantry during the First World War...

 munitions. The first stage of the weapon triggers the reactive armor of the target, limiting the attack's effectiveness. However, after the reactive armor has protected the vehicle from the primary attack, it is no longer "reactive" in that location (since reactive armour is primarily a one-time defense solution) and the location is left more vulnerable. The second detonation from the same projectile (which defines it as a tandem charge) attacks the same location as the first detonation where the reactive armor has been compromised. Since the regular armor plating is often the only defense remaining, the tandem charge (second detonation) has an increased likelihood of penetrating the armor.

However, tandem-charges are useful only against SLERA (self-limiting explosive reactive armor) types of reactive armor, not against the NERA (non-energetic reactive armor) and NxRA (non-explosive reactive armor) reactive armor types, since their inner liner is not explosive itself, thus able to withstand the small forward warhead of tandem-charge attack.

The PG-7VR
The PG-7VR is a tandem charge RPG warhead designed to penetrate up to 600 mm rolled homogeneous armour equivalence of explosive reactive armor and the conventional armor underneath...

 warhead for the RPG-7
The RPG-7 is a widely-produced, portable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally the RPG-7 and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company...

 rocket launcher and the more modern RPG-29
The RPG-29 is a Russian rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Adopted by the Soviet Army in 1989, it was the most recent weapon of its type to be adopted by the Russian military before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The RPG-29 has since been supplemented by other rocket-propelled systems, such...

 rocket are examples of tandem charges. Additionally, many American missiles use the tandem charges because they were designed in the Cold War era to counter the reactive armor that was a common feature on Soviet tanks. Examples of American missiles that use tandem charges include the BGM-71 TOW
The BGM-71 TOW is an anti-tank missile. "BGM" is a weapon classification that stands for "Multiple Environment , Surface-Attack , Missile ". "TOW" is an acronym that stands for "Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link, guided missile"...

, FGM-148 Javelin
FGM-148 Javelin
The FGM-148 Javelin is a United States-made man-portable third generation anti-tank missile fielded to replace the Dragon antitank missile.-Overview:Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance...

 and the AGM-114 Hellfire
AGM-114 Hellfire
The AGM-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile developed primarily for anti-armor use. It has multi-mission, multi-target precision-strike capability, and can be launched from multiple air, sea, and ground platforms. The Hellfire missile is the primary 100 lb-class air-to-ground precision...

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