The Hoplite

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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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

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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

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ARES Research Report No.3 “Raising Red Flags: An Examination of Arms & Munitions in the Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine, 2014”

ARES is excited to announce the release of our latest Research Report, “Raising Red Flags: An Examination of Arms & Munitions in the Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine, 2014“. The report represents the culmination of months of research, identifying and examining over 100 different weapons systems, more than 60 different munitions, and more than 70 different armoured

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Arms diversion: a Caracal Model F pistol in Libya

Hassan Morajea with Michael Smallwood Pictures supplied to ARES show a Caracal F semi-automatic  pistol, produced by Caracal, a United Arab Emirates-based firearms manufacturer. This particular Model F is the personal protection weapon of an owner of a gold jewellery store in Tripoli’s Old City, in Libya. The owner, ‘U‘, says he purchased the pistol a few months

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VICE News commission ARES report on cluster munition use in Ukraine

A recent article from VICE News discusses a cluster munition attack in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on October 2, 2014. ARES produced a conflict damage assessment report for VICE News, and investigated munition remnants and munition impact sites from the attack, identifying the munition used as the Russian 9M27K rocket with 9N128K warhead,

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9M22S incendiary rocket components documented in eastern Ukraine

Yuri Lyamin and Michael Smallwood The remnants shown above, recovered from eastern Ukraine in late July, are incendiary components likely to be from the Russian 9M22S rocket. Fired by the BM-21 ‘Grad’ (Град; Hail) multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) and similar systems, the 122 mm 9M22S was developed by the Splav State Research and Production

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Modifications to Thales Australia F90 rifle for Australian Department of Defence LRIP

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Ten days ago, Thales Australia secured a contract from the Australian Department of Defence to enter low-rate initial production (LRIP) for the company’s F90 assault rifle. Chambered for 5.56 x 45 mm, the F90 is likely to replace Australia’s in-service F88 series (including the current F88SA2) assault rifles under the Land 125 Phase

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Kornet anti-tank guided weapon captured by Syrian Islamist rebels

By Michael Smallwood   A YouTube video released last week by a Syrian Islamist rebel group in Daraa city shows wooden crates containing components of the Russian-made Kornet (Корнет; ‘Cornet’) man-portable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW). This system, with the NATO reporting name AT-14 Spriggan, is one of the newer and more capable Russian-made ATGWs. Purportedly

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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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