Category: Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW)

Small Arms Survey releases ‘Research Note 55: Recoilless Weapons’

The Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research institute, has released a new publication authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones, with contributions from ARES staff members Graeme Rice and Michael Smallwood. Research Note 55: Recoilless Weapons examines at the technical features, development history, and global employment of these common light weapon systems. Recoilless weapons utilise the countermass of expelled propellant gasses

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Belgian FN Herstal CAL rifle in Gaza

N.R. Jenzen-Jones At far right, the image above appears to show a Belgian FN Herstal CAL (Carabine Automatique Légère; Light Automatic Carbine) rifle in the hands of fighters from the National Resistance Brigades, the paramilitary arm of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The DFLP are an extreme-left member group of the Palestine

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Iranian AM50 anti-materiel rifle documented in Yemen

Michael Smallwood ARES has recently documented Houthi fighters with two models of anti-materiel rifle (AMR) manufactured in Canada and the United States of America, but more recent images posted to social media appear to show a Houthi fighter armed with an Iranian AM50 (Sayyad-2) AMR. Produced by the Iranian state-controlled Defence Industries Organization’s (DIO) Individual

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North American anti-materiel rifles with Houthi forces in Yemen

Michael Smallwood Multiple videos (shown below) shared by pro-Houthi media channels during October 2015 show Houthi rebel fighters employing Barrett Model 82A1 (M82A1) anti-materiel rifles during fighting in Yemen. The American-made Barrett M82A1 is semi-automatic, chambered for .50 BMG (12.7 x 99 mm), and designated the M107 in US service. The M82A1 weighs 13.6 kg, has an

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Iranian RU-series thermal weapon sights in Syria

Galen Wright Update 151106: Another Twitter post from yesterday shows a brief video of materiel allegedly captured by fighters aligned with Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. In addition to the Sadad 102 thermal imager mentioned below, other items seen include mortars, what appears to be an Iranian SPG-9-type recoilless gun, an Iranian AM50 anti-materiel rifle, a DShKM-type heavy machine

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Russian MRO-A thermobaric rocket launchers in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones A video posted to YouTube on 29 October 2015 shows two Russian-made MRO-A rocket launchers and a Soviet or Russian RPO-A recoilless weapon. According to the video, the weapons were captured by Ajnad al-Sham from Syrian government positions near Skaik village, in Hama governorate. Markings on one of the MRO-A launch tubes indicate

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US M240 GPMG seen with Jabhat al-Nusra fighter in Syria

Michael Smallwood An image posted to Twitter yesterday appears to show a Jabhat al-Nusra fighter in Syria wielding a United States-made M240 series general-purpose machine gun (GPMG), purportedly taken from the US-equipped Free Syrian Army’s Division 30. It is likely to be either an upgraded M240B or an M240L. The M240L was only type classified

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Croatian VHS-D1 rifle in Syria

Michael Smallwood Update 151009: Further information has come to light, showing that these images were first posted to Facebook on 31 August 2013, and 18 March 2014. The earliest appearance of the weapon appears to be 8 April 2013. The combatant pictured appears to be a Druze militiaman. There are photos of numerous other fighters posing with a

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Saudi-led Coalition seizes Iranian arms en route to Yemen

Galen Wright Update 150930: According to the US Navy, which arrived on hand shortly after the intercept was made, the incident occurred on Friday, rather than Saturday. They also noted that the country responsible for boarding the Dhow was a member of the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). They did not specify which country made the interception. AP

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British Accuracy International AW sniper rifle in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Update 150828, 2035 GMT: It has been suggested that the configuration of the rifle is very similar to that seen in service with Russian SOF units, including the Badger Ordnance IMUNS. Given Russia’s increased involvement in Syria recently, this may point to the rifle’s provenance, whether employed by Russian SOF in support of Syrian

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