Category: Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW)

Small Arms Survey Research Note 43: Producers of Small Arms, Light Weapons, & Ammunition

The Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research institute, have released their latest Research Note, authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones. Examining the producers of small arms and light weapons and ammunition worldwide, this brief information sheet identifies 30 states which comprise some of the world’s major manufacturers. The note also identifies various countries producing guided

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Improvised MANPADS batteries employed in Syria

Michael Smallwood The above video, posted on the 24th of June, shows combatants near Syria’s western city of Hama firing a 9K32M (NATO reporting name: SA-7b) man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) with a non-standard battery attached. Other instances of improvised batteries being used with MANPADS have previously been documented in Syria, with one video released

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9K333 Verba MANPADS now in service with Russian military

Boris Karpa (MicroBalrog) The newest Russian man-portable air defence system (MANPADS), the 9K333 Verba (“Pussy Willow”) has been finally issued to the Russian armed forces, having made its appearance with the Ivanovo VDV division after passing Army testing in the summer of 2011 and being confirmed for production in late 2011. The Verba is an

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IDF recover various weapons including improvised firearms in Nablus

Jonathan Ferguson Israel Defence Force (IDF) soldiers from the Yahalom (“Diamond”) special unit, recovered hundreds of weapons as well as quantities of ammunition and explosives during a raid in Nablus, West Bank, on 17 June. Prominently featured is an AR-15 with A1 style 20” barrel, A2 style handguards, and fitted with what appears to be a

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Ukraine alleges Russian supply of 9M39 MANPADS missile to separatists

N.R. Jenzen-Jones & Michael Smallwood In a statement released yesterday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs alleged proof of the illicit transfer of Russian produced Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) into the hands of pro-Russian separatist fighters in Ukraine. According to the Ministry, outer packaging for a 9M39 MANPADS missile was recovered on 6 June

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2B9M Vasilek automatic mortar in service with Ansar al-Sham in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones with Yuri Lyamin Ansar al-Sham (كتائب أنصار الشام; ‘Supporters of the Levant’), an Islamist militant group associated with the Islamic Front in Syria (الجبهة الإسلامية; al-Jabhat al-Islāmiyyah), have uploaded a YouTube video showing combatants firing a 2B9M automatic mortar near Mount Chalma, in Syria’s Kesab district. The 2B9M Vasilek (‘Cornflower’) is a breech-loaded, long recoil-operated

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Russian MRO-A Rocket Launchers in Ukraine

Michael Smallwood Images emerging from Ukraine following fighting in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on the 25th of May show alleged pro-Russian Ukrainian separatist fighters in possession of Russian-made MRO-A rocket launchers. The MRO is a self-contained, disposable single shot 72.5 mm rocket launcher, sharing similarities with the larger, 93 mm RPO family to provide a lighter

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Iranian AM50 and Russian ORSIS T-5000 rifles in Iraq

Yuri Lyamin with Michael Smallwood Recent photos to emerge from Iraq show government troops with new Iranian  AM50 (sometimes written ‘AM-50’) anti-materiel rifles (AMR) and Russian ORSIS T-5000 sniper rifles. Whilst initially misidentified as the Austrian Steyr HS .50, the photos suggest that these rifles are in fact an Iranian produced copy of the HS .50, known

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Polish PPZR Grom MANPADS seized from pro-Russian Separatists in Ukraine

N.R. Jenzen-Jones An interesting video was released earlier today by the Ukraine Military TV YouTube channel. The video shows pro-Russian separatists being captured by Ukrainian forces, and documents the man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) allegedly seized with these combatants. The image above shows a Polish made PPZR (Przenośny Przeciwlotniczy Zestaw Rakietowy; portable anti-aircraft missile system

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Syrian Rebels Produce Homemade Anti-Materiel Rifles

Jonathan Ferguson The Syrian conflict continues to yield interesting expedient small arm designs. Syrian rebel forces have been documented craft producing anti-materiel rifles (AMRs). ARES has received video links (see below) that document the manufacture of this weapon, which appears in two variants. It is a homemade bolt-action anti-materiel rifle similar to and perhaps even inspired

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