Category: Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW)

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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US produced TOW 2A ATGWs in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones and Yuri Lyamin In early April, representatives of the armed opposition group Harakat Hazm from the Syrian province of Idlib uploaded a YouTube video showing Hazm combatants launching a missile from a TOW type anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW), near the town of Heesh. This video, representing the first time the TOW missile was

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GM-94 grenade launchers in use with Russian forces in Crimea

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Recent images from the Russian seizure of the Crimean peninsula have highlighted the range of weaponry employed by Russian forces and combatants variously identified as either pro-Russian militias or private security contractors. Kater reports indicate they may have been members of Russia’s GRU special operations forces. Amongst the weapons observed is the GM-94,

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Ukrainian copies of Swiss Brügger & Thomet APR rifles used during protests in Kiev

N.R. Jenzen-Jones During the ongoing civil unrest in Kiev, several images have circulated showing Ukrainian security forces equipped with a range of lethal weapons, including sniper rifles. In addition to the SVD type rifles commonly seen, security forces have been documented using a license-produced copy of one of the Brügger & Thomet APR rifles (as seen

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New Pistol Designs out of Libya

Jonathan Ferguson The demand for firearms in Libya has brought to light three handguns so far undocumented, at least in the English-speaking world. At least one of these (pictured below) is available in lethal-purpose form, though based upon a blank firing handgun and possibly also produced in that form. It is a sub-compact design, and

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