The Hoplite

Libyan workshop refurbishes small arms for ongoing conflict

By Hassan Morajea. Header image shows AKM type rifle and PKMT undergoing refurbishment. In a militia-controlled garage in Misrata, Libya, workers service and refurbish weapons for fighters from different Misrata brigades. Free services provided range from fixing and servicing small arms and light weapons (SALW) to mounting multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), anti-aircraft guns, and various

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Falaq-2 based IRAM in Iraq

By Michael Smallwood. Header image displays an improvised launcher in a two-tube configuration mounted on the rear of a pickup truck. Photos emerging from Iraq purport to show members of the Islamist militant group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in possession of 333 mm Falaq-2 artillery rockets and improvised launchers. In the photo below, a substantially

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44 Bore – 7.62 x 39 mm AK rifles modified to fire 7.92 x 33 Kurz ammunition

Ian McCollum The rifle above is a curious example of weapons coming full-circle and being reinvented. This is the “44 Bore” rifle, a colloquial name given to AK type rifles rechambered for the German 7.92 x 33 mm Kurz (sometimes referred to as 8 x 33 mm) cartridge in Pakistan. How this cartridge came to be

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Kh-29 air-to-surface missile employed in unguided surface-to-surface role in Libya

The following post originally appeared here, authored by the Oryx Blog team. It has been expanded and modified with their permission for The Hoplite by Michael Smallwood and Yuri Lyamin. In a series of photos coming out of Tripoli, Libya, militants are shown using sophisticated guided air-to-surface missiles as unguided surface-to-surface weapons. The missile shown,

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ARES Arms & Munitions Brief No.1: The Chinese QLZ87 Automatic Grenade Launcher

ARES is proud to release its first Arms & Munitions Brief. Authored by Timothy Yan, “The Chinese QLZ87 Automatic Grenade Launcher” examines the development history and technical capability of this automatic grenade launcher (AGL) and its ammunition, as well as a brief look at other Chinese-developed AGLs. Below are some extracts from the publication, which

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Small Arms Survey Issue Brief: Profiling ammunition in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia

ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones has co-authored an Issue Brief for the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research institute, published in late July. With an aim to inform measures for reducing illicit proliferation, the paper discusses small arms ammunition found in the holdings of non-state armed groups within Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. An excerpt from the

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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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ZRP-2 mine-clearing line charges captured from Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine

Yuri Lyamin Amongst various arms and munitions recovered from pro-Russian separatists by Ukrainian forces in recent days, were ZRP-2 Tropa (‘Path’) man-portable mine-clearing line charges. ЗРП stands for ‘заряд разминирования переносной’, or ‘portable mine clearance charge’. The ZRP-2 is designed to create a breach in an antipersonnel minefield under combat conditions. Some modern mines have

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