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 project support. Key areas of growth have included counter-proliferation, incendiary weapons, analysis of armed group capabilities, and broad spectrum weapons technical intelligence (TECHINT).

Publicly available work included Research Reports on improvised S-5 rocket employment in land warfare, Falaq-1 and Falaq-2 rockets in Syria, and the arms and munitions of the Ukraine conflict, as well as an Arms & Munitions Brief on the Chinese QLZ87 AGL. ARES has also begun to release a number of short-form ‘Research Notes’, including a basic guide to AK type rifles. Several publicly available publications are slated for 2015, examining a variety of topics from conflict zones around the globe.

ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones spoke at an Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Plenary Meeting last year, regarding a forthcoming report he authored examining firearms produced using additive manufacturing techniques (3D printing). The report, to be published by the Small Arms Survey, is a comprehensive analysis of 3D printing technologies and 3D printed firearms, as well as the associated legal and law enforcement challenges. Mr. Jenzen-Jones also later spoke at an Australian Senate Public Hearing about the same topic, and then to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee in New York. The event, organised and hosted by the German government, examined a range of emergent arms technologies.

ARES also launched our successful Freelance Journalist Assistance Programme (FJAP) in 2014. We have assisted a number of journalists under the FJAP on a pro bono basis, as well as having worked with larger media organisations to provide detailed background research, analysis, and expert commentary on a wide range of arms and munitions related news stories. As well as being featured in mainstream media, ARES material is also published by specialist journals, including those of the International Ammunition Association (IAA) and the European Cartridge Research Association (ECRA). ARES staff have delivered training to journalists in various regions around the world, with more planned for 2015. Forensic capabilities have also been exercised on behalf of journalists, and this capability will be fully developed in 2015.

Over the course of the year, the ARES team has expanded with the addition of new staff, adding to the expertise and capability of our existing staff. New staff members in 2014 include researcher Ian McCollum, author and editor of Forgotten Weapons, a blog specialising in lesser-known and experimental firearms, as well as associate researcher Stephen Semler, and research assistant Hassan Morajea. Click the ‘Our Team’ tab at the top of the page for more information on these staff, and the rest of the ARES team.

2015 is already shaping up to be a significant year for ARES, with numerous private and public projects scheduled for completion. Stay tuned to The Hoplite, the ARES company blog, as well as our Publications page, for updates on our publicly available outputs. Finally, from all the team here at ARES, we want to take the opportunity to thank the various organisations and individuals who have supported our work, as well as our staff, consultants, clients, and readership. Here’s to another successful year!