The Hoplite

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Ukrainian government returns 2S7 Pion self-propelled artillery to service

Michael Smallwood A press release from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence details the military’s restoration of multiple 2S7 Pion (Пион; ‘peony’) self-propelled artillery systems which have been in storage for over 10 years. The video below shows a Ukrainian military-led team in Rivne working on a 2S7. Interviewed in the video above, Colonel Vadim Rudnitsky suggests

Continue Reading

Soviet & Russian ‘flame weapons’: incendiary, thermobaric, and FAE systems in Ukraine

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Recent news reports indicate Russia’s intention to modernise much of its military in the coming years. The commander of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RChBD) troops, Maj. Gen. Eduard Cherkasov, announced a focus on so-called ‘flame weapons’ – incendiary, thermobaric and fuel-air explosive (FAE) weapons – describing a program of modernisation and development. “For the future

Continue Reading