Category: Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW)

Russian Kord and ASVK systems in Syria

Michael Smallwood with Yuri Lyamin A recent photo, above, shows a Syrian government fighter manning a Russian Kord 12.7 x 108 mm heavy machine gun (HMG) in the eastern Jobar district of Damascus city. The belt-fed Kord is chambered for either 12.7 x 108 mm or 12.7 x 99 mm (.50 BMG), and has an

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Differential identification of NSV and Kord heavy machine guns

Jonathan Ferguson Untrained observers frequently confuse superficially similar small arms and light weapon (SALW) systems, particularly with the pressure of covering a current conflict. These mistakes can act as a red herring for those seeking to establish the objective reality on the ground, or at worst, incorrectly act as evidence of involvement by external parties.

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Republican militants employ improvised grenade launcher in Belfast attack

Impro Guns A self-proclaimed ‘IRA group’ reported to be a merger of various splinter groups including the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), has released pictures of the improvised grenade launcher used in an attack on an armoured Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) vehicle in North Belfast last week. The launcher appears to be quite

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Soviet & Russian ‘flame weapons’: incendiary, thermobaric, and FAE systems in Ukraine

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Recent news reports indicate Russia’s intention to modernise much of its military in the coming years. The commander of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RChBD) troops, Maj. Gen. Eduard Cherkasov, announced a focus on so-called ‘flame weapons’ – incendiary, thermobaric and fuel-air explosive (FAE) weapons – describing a program of modernisation and development. “For the future

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Arms diversion: a Caracal Model F pistol in Libya

Hassan Morajea with Michael Smallwood Pictures supplied to ARES show a Caracal F semi-automatic  pistol, produced by Caracal, a United Arab Emirates-based firearms manufacturer. This particular Model F is the personal protection weapon of an owner of a gold jewellery store in Tripoli’s Old City, in Libya. The owner, ‘U‘, says he purchased the pistol a few months

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Modifications to Thales Australia F90 rifle for Australian Department of Defence LRIP

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Ten days ago, Thales Australia secured a contract from the Australian Department of Defence to enter low-rate initial production (LRIP) for the company’s F90 assault rifle. Chambered for 5.56 x 45 mm, the F90 is likely to replace Australia’s in-service F88 series (including the current F88SA2) assault rifles under the Land 125 Phase

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Kornet anti-tank guided weapon captured by Syrian Islamist rebels

By Michael Smallwood   A YouTube video released last week by a Syrian Islamist rebel group in Daraa city shows wooden crates containing components of the Russian-made Kornet (Корнет; ‘Cornet’) man-portable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW). This system, with the NATO reporting name AT-14 Spriggan, is one of the newer and more capable Russian-made ATGWs. Purportedly

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44 Bore – 7.62 x 39 mm AK rifles modified to fire 7.92 x 33 Kurz ammunition

Ian McCollum The rifle above is a curious example of weapons coming full-circle and being reinvented. This is the “44 Bore” rifle, a colloquial name given to AK type rifles rechambered for the German 7.92 x 33 mm Kurz (sometimes referred to as 8 x 33 mm) cartridge in Pakistan. How this cartridge came to be

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ARES Arms & Munitions Brief No.1: The Chinese QLZ87 Automatic Grenade Launcher

ARES is proud to release its first Arms & Munitions Brief. Authored by Timothy Yan, “The Chinese QLZ87 Automatic Grenade Launcher” examines the development history and technical capability of this automatic grenade launcher (AGL) and its ammunition, as well as a brief look at other Chinese-developed AGLs. Below are some extracts from the publication, which

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Small Arms Survey Issue Brief: Profiling ammunition in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia

ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones has co-authored an Issue Brief for the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research institute, published in late July. With an aim to inform measures for reducing illicit proliferation, the paper discusses small arms ammunition found in the holdings of non-state armed groups within Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. An excerpt from the

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