The Hoplite

Kurdish YPG forces with Iranian tandem HEAT RPG-7 projectile

Michael Smallwood The above image is a still taken from the following video of Kurdish YPG forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq uploaded on 29 December 2014. It shows a Kurdish fighter with an RPG-7 type rocket-assisted recoilless weapon, and what appears to be an Iranian tandem-charge RPG-7 projectile. Previously documented in Syria, these

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Chinese MANPADS in South Sudan

Michael Smallwood Photos out of South Sudan during the last days of 2014 show Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces with a Chinese-made QW-2 man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS). Incorrectly identified by some sources as a QW-18, the QW-2 above is identifiable from its battery pack and markings on the weapon gripstock reading “QFJ-2”. Produced by the

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Armament Research Services in 2014

Armament Research Services (ARES) had a very successful year, and produced important pieces of work over the course of 2014. The company has solidified its position in supplying critical technical information and project support to various actors in the arms and munitions field, with successful results in field and desk-based research, analysis, technical review, training, and

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Small arms recovered in Mali raid

Jonathan Ferguson A recent UN investigation following an attack using an explosive device has revealed a snapshot of the types of small arms in use by insurgents active in Mali. Last week, MINUSMA released an image of items recovered from the house of two people who  were arrested and handed to Malian authorities. In the

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Kurdish forces with Chinese QLZ87 automatic grenade launcher & M99 anti-materiel rifle

Michael Smallwood Photos posted to Twitter last week show Kurdish forces in Iraq with a limited number of Chinese QLZ87 automatic grenade launchers and M99 anti-materiel rifles. A Kurdish fighter takes a sight-picture with a QLZ87 AGL.   The QLZ87 is a direct gas impingement operated, selective fire grenade launcher chambered for the Chinese 35

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ARES publishes Research Note No. 6 – An Introduction to Basic AK Type Rifle Identification

Armament Research Services (ARES) has released its first published Research Note, Research Note No. 6 – An Introduction to Basic AK Type Rifle Identification. ARES Research Notes are short form publications, designed to give brief, accurate information on a single topic or concept. Authored by Jonathan Ferguson and N.R Jenzen-Jones, Research Note No. 6 aims

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DM32 Bunkerfaust supplied by Germany to Kurdish forces

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Photos of arms destined for Kurdish forces being loaded aboard a Royal Dutch Air Force cargo plane in September include several images showing the markings on packaging material. The photo above shows crates containing DM32 multipurpose projectiles for the Panzerfaust 3 (Pzf 3) rocket-assisted recoilless weapon. The Pzf 3 with the DM32 projectile

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Russian Kord and ASVK systems in Syria

Michael Smallwood with Yuri Lyamin A recent photo, above, shows a Syrian government fighter manning a Russian Kord 12.7 x 108 mm heavy machine gun (HMG) in the eastern Jobar district of Damascus city. The belt-fed Kord is chambered for either 12.7 x 108 mm or 12.7 x 99 mm (.50 BMG), and has an

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Differential identification of NSV and Kord heavy machine guns

Jonathan Ferguson Untrained observers frequently confuse superficially similar small arms and light weapon (SALW) systems, particularly with the pressure of covering a current conflict. These mistakes can act as a red herring for those seeking to establish the objective reality on the ground, or at worst, incorrectly act as evidence of involvement by external parties.

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Republican militants employ improvised grenade launcher in Belfast attack

Impro Guns A self-proclaimed ‘IRA group’ reported to be a merger of various splinter groups including the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), has released pictures of the improvised grenade launcher used in an attack on an armoured Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) vehicle in North Belfast last week. The launcher appears to be quite

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