The Hoplite

Croatian VHS-D1 rifle in Syria

Michael Smallwood Update 151009: Further information has come to light, showing that these images were first posted to Facebook on 31 August 2013, and 18 March 2014. The earliest appearance of the weapon appears to be 8 April 2013. The combatant pictured appears to be a Druze militiaman. There are photos of numerous other fighters posing with a

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SPBE submunitions employed in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones with Yuri Lyamin Footage uploaded to video sharing platforms in the past few days shows the functioning of submunitions consistent with cargo (cluster) munitions delivered by a Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name: Fencer) series attack aircraft. Photographs of SPBE series submunitions were posted to Twitter and Facebook earlier today, as well as the YouTube video

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Russian forces deploy KAB-500S PGM in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones with Yuri Lyamin Update 151011: The Russian Ministry of Defence has recently uploaded a video to their YouTube channel, showing a Sukhoi Su-34 employing a KAB-500S PGM over Syria. Update 151006: A recent image from Pravda shows Russian technicians with a Su-34 carrying the KAB-500S PGM. Markings present on the munition indicate that

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Russian PMN-4 anti-personnel landmines in Syria

Ivan Kochin with N.R. Jenzen-Jones Recent images released by the Syrian Center for Demining & Rehabilitation (SCDR) feature Russian PMN-4 landmines which were found just west of Daraa, in Southern Syria. In a video dated 28 September 2015, a figure can be seen employing manual demining practices to remove a number of PMN-4 mines. The earlier

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Saudi-led Coalition seizes Iranian arms en route to Yemen

Galen Wright Update 150930: According to the US Navy, which arrived on hand shortly after the intercept was made, the incident occurred on Friday, rather than Saturday. They also noted that the country responsible for boarding the Dhow was a member of the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). They did not specify which country made the interception. AP

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British Accuracy International AW sniper rifle in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Update 150828, 2035 GMT: It has been suggested that the configuration of the rifle is very similar to that seen in service with Russian SOF units, including the Badger Ordnance IMUNS. Given Russia’s increased involvement in Syria recently, this may point to the rifle’s provenance, whether employed by Russian SOF in support of Syrian

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Arms & Munitions Brief No. 2: The Russian GM-94 Grenade Launcher

Armament Research Services is proud to release the second publication in our Arms & Munitions Brief series, The Russian GM-94 Grenade Launcher.  Authored by former Russian army officer and small arms historian Maxim Popenker, with ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones, Arms & Munitions Brief No. 2 gives an overview of the GM-94’s development history, technical characteristics, and employment

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A closer look at Iran’s CQ rifles

Galen Wright Iran commemorated the start of the Iran-Iraq War on September 22 with military parades across the country. This year, a private photographer affiliated with the military.ir forum provided a detailed look at one model of self-loading rifle favoured by the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Norinco CQ. The CQ is a copy of the US M16A1 developed in

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Unknown submachine gun with fake markings seized in Europe

The ARES Team with ‘Improguns’ Along with the recently documented ‘R9-Arms’ pistol, another previously-unknown 9mm submachine gun (‘machine pistol’) has been seized in significant numbers from organised crime groups in various European countries, most notably Italy and the United Kingdom. These new weapons are deceptively marked ‘Intratec TEC-9’, which is inscribed to a professional standard. Given that

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US Mk 14 EBR allegedly seized by Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria

Update 150926: A release yesterday from US CENTCOM has stated that the image of the rifle was taken while in the possession of Division 30, making it unlikely that it had in fact been seized by Jabhat al-Nusra. However, CENTCOM did confirm earlier reports that claimed some US-trained and equipped fighters had surrendered materiel to Jabhat al-Nusra, including

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