The Hoplite

Chinese BEE4 BB/RA 130 mm projectiles in Syria

Yuri Lyamin In 2006, some sources indicated that China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) had developed a new 155 mm HE projectile design which incorporated two auxiliary propulsion techniques – base bleed (BB) and rocket assistance (RA). Shortly after these early reports emerged, it became apparent that Norinco had in fact developed a new family of

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ARES Special Report: Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWPA) – particularly those weapons with potential wide-area effects – remains of significant concern to military forces, civil society, and other stakeholders. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) commissioned Armament Research Services (ARES) to produce a report examining the technical considerations relevant to the use of explosive weapons in

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The Casspir NG2000 MRAP in service with MINUSMA in Mali

The ARES Team As of May 2016 there are at least five Casspir NG2000 series armoured vehicles in service with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The contingent is based in the Kidal region, also known as UN Sector North. As the French counter insurgency (COIN) operation in the region, Operation

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Boko Haram with UAG-40 automatic grenade launcher in Nigeria

ARES Team On 24 April, Boko Haram (the Nigerian affiliate of the Islamic State) released information and images relating to an ambush against a component from the Nigerian Army’s 155 Task Force. Among the captured weapons and equipment is a UAG-40 automatic grenade launcher manufactured by Leninska Kuznya of Ukraine. The UAG-40 is a blowback

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Hungarian Danuvia K1 for sale in Libya via social media

Graeme Rice ARES recently announced our ongoing data collection and analysis pertaining to the illicit sale of arms via social media and communications platforms in conflict and post-conflict zones. From time to time, we will be featuring items of interest uncovered during our research, here on The Hoplite. A rare Hungarian Danuvia K1 (Kucher Model 1)

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Small arms & light weapons traded via social media platforms in Libya

Armament Research Services (ARES) has produced significant original research examining the online trade in small arms and light weapons within Libya. The project outputs rely on a database, developed by ARES, which contains information about both groups and individual traders active on popular social media and communication platforms.The project will consist of two published reports, released under Small

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Minimi type light machine gun with pro-Assad group in Syria

Jonathan Ferguson Images posted to personal Facebook pages of members of the Syrian pro-government Suqur al-Sahara (‘Desert Falcons’) non-state armed group prominently feature fighters posing with the Belgian-made FN ‘Minimi’ 5.56 x 45 mm light machine gun (LMG). Suqur al-Sahara has been described as an “elite” formation, primarily consisting of former soldiers. The weapon in

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Ansar al-Sharia with RPG-32 rocket launcher in Yemen

Yuri Lyamin & B. Khab. with N.R. Jenzen-Jones On 27 March 2016, a video released by Ansar al-Shari’a (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) shows their fighters clashing with Houthi forces in Taiz, Yemen. The fighting shown is believed to have taken place on 21 March 2016. The video begins with unmanned aerial vehicle footage of Sabir Mountain and part

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Differential identification of AK-12 and earlier Russian AK rifles

Jonathan Ferguson Note: The design of the AK-12 has since moved away from the more distinctive model described herein. The newer iteration is more conventional in design and appearance.  The Hoplite recently covered a distinctive personalised AK-74M self-loading rifle captured in Syria by Islamic State forces from a Russian special operator. The plethora of accessories fitted to the weapon

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Muzzleloaders in Modern War

Jonathan Ferguson Just as muzzle-loading firearms are symbols of faded Imperial glory to western Europeans, and of resistance and self-reliance to Americans, antiquated firearms remain important symbols to people in the Middle East. As well as turning out craft-produced Kalashnikov rifles, Makarov pistols, and more besides, there remains a strong market in the craft production of

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