The Hoplite

New improvised armoured fighting vehicle design in Ukraine

Boris Karpa The Ukrainian conflict has resulted in significant numbers of improvised armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) being employed by both Ukrainian security forces and pro-Russian separatist forces. Generally, improvised combat vehicles are manufactured from poor quality components, built by amateurs with no engineering training, under terrible conditions and equipped with ill-fitted weapons and armour. This particular vehicle appears different,

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ARES Releases Field Guide 1 – Identifying & Tracing the FN Herstal FAL Rifle

Armament Research Services is proud to release the first in our Field Guide series of publications, aimed at providing researchers, investigators, and other practitioners with useful reference information on a particular topic. Field Guide No. 1 – Identifying & Tracing the FN Herstal FAL Rifle, authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones and Damien Spleeters of Conflict Armament Research, focuses on

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No. 36 Mills Bomb detonators in Yemen

George Zahaczewsky Recent photos taken in Aden, Yemen, and provided to ARES by the photographer, show detonator assemblies for the No. 36 series Mills Bomb. These were amongst a variety of munitions left behind by Houthi rebels as they retreated in recent weeks. The container depicted in the images appears to be Canadian in origin

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New images of 9K333 Verba MANPADS from Russian trade show

Michael Smallwood Pictures taken at this year’s MAKS aviation trade show in Moscow show the latest Russian man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS), the 9K333 Verba (“Pussy Willow”). ARES has previously written about the 9K333 Verba in mid-2014, when it entered service with Russian forces, and these new images represent the best view of the system to date. Markings

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ARES Research Note 9 – Estimating Year of Production for FN Herstal FAL Rifles

Armament Research Services has released Research Note No. 9 – Estimating Year of Production for FN Herstal FAL Rifles. Authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones with Stefan Elliott, the note discusses the relationship between serial numbers and year of production for the ubiquitous FN Herstal FAL rifle, and establishes a formula for determining the likely year

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Improvised 80 mm S-8 MLRS system in Ukraine

Michael Smallwood An image posted to social media at the beginning of August shows Ukrainian troops atop a tracked 9K35 Strela-10 armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) (NATO reporting name: SA-13 Gopher), with two Soviet B-8 rocket pods fixed in an improvised turret arrangement. It appears Ukrainian forces have developed an improvised multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) on the tracked vehicle.

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United States Mk 14 EBR in Syria

Michael Smallwood Images recently uploaded to Twitter by the Free Syrian Amy’s ‘Division 30’ show combatants with US-made arms. In one image, a Mk 14 EBR (enhanced battle rifle) series weapon is visible in the foreground, while another fighter holds what is likely an M16A4 rifle. The Mk 14 EBR series are self-loading rifles chambered for 7.62 x 51 mm and

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Iranian Safir light tactical vehicles in Iraq

Alex Harper Images of Iranian weaponry in Iraq have become more frequent in recent months, as clashes between the Islamic State (IS) and its opposition forces have intensified. These weapons are primarily being employed by Shi’a militias such as Kata’ib Hezbollah and the Badr Army, but have also been spotted in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga

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Small Arms Survey Issue Brief 14: Documenting Small Arms and Light Weapons

ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones has authored Small Arms Survey Issue Brief 14, a basic guide to documenting small arms and light weapons (SALW). Released last week, Issue Brief 14 gives a step-by-step approach to documenting SALW, as well as an overview of safety procedures and guidelines for undertaking such work in the field. See below for

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Arms Diversion in Iraq – Iranian RU60G thermal weapon sight

Galen Wright Photos made available via Twitter in July show a new addition to Iraq’s bustling black-market – an Iranian RU60G thermal sight, priced at $5,000 USD. Although Iranian arms have been well documented in Iraq, this example highlights a new concern: unauthorised transfers to secondary users. The RU60G is produced in Iran by the privately operated company Rayan

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