The Hoplite

US Mk 14 EBR allegedly seized by Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria

Update 150926: A release yesterday from US CENTCOM has stated that the image of the rifle was taken while in the possession of Division 30, making it unlikely that it had in fact been seized by Jabhat al-Nusra. However, CENTCOM did confirm earlier reports that claimed some US-trained and equipped fighters had surrendered materiel to Jabhat al-Nusra, including

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Correction – Chinese air rifle in Ukraine

Jonathan Ferguson ARES Research Report No. 3 – ‘Raising Red Flags‘ documents the arms and munitions employed during the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. Amongst the small arms and light weapons documented, we identified (p.40-41) a Chinese spring-powered air rifle as a ‘Norinco B3-1’. This is incorrect. The air gun in question is fitted with a distinctive side-folding shoulder stock with plastic

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Beretta unveils ARX 200 designated marksman rifle

Like many Western forces, the Italian military’s experiences in Afghanistan have been a driving force in the acquisition of additional longer-range firepower at the infantry platoon level. The Italian Army will be deploying the Beretta ARX 200 designated marksman rifle, chambered for 7.62 x 51 mm, in order to meet this capability requirement. The long-awaited rifle was

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French APILAS anti-tank weapon in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones A video recorded during fighting near Maliha, Syria, in June 2015 shows a Syrian rebel fighter armed with a French APILAS (armour-piercing infantry light arm system). The APILAS is a single-shot, disposable 112 mm rocket-assisted recoilless anti-tank weapon, first issued to French forces in the mid-1980s and later in service with some 15

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Landmines and significant IED designs documented in Yemen

Kenton Fulmer Recent photos posted on social media channels  have illustrated the proliferation of an unmarked variant of the Russian TM-57 AT blast mine, as well as an escalation in the sophistication of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the Yemeni conflict. This cache of munitions (documented here in early August) is observed to contain over 150 examples of the

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New improvised armoured fighting vehicle design in Ukraine

Boris Karpa The Ukrainian conflict has resulted in significant numbers of improvised armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) being employed by both Ukrainian security forces and pro-Russian separatist forces. Generally, improvised combat vehicles are manufactured from poor quality components, built by amateurs with no engineering training, under terrible conditions and equipped with ill-fitted weapons and armour. This particular vehicle appears different,

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ARES Releases Field Guide 1 – Identifying & Tracing the FN Herstal FAL Rifle

Armament Research Services is proud to release the first in our Field Guide series of publications, aimed at providing researchers, investigators, and other practitioners with useful reference information on a particular topic. Field Guide No. 1 – Identifying & Tracing the FN Herstal FAL Rifle, authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones and Damien Spleeters of Conflict Armament Research, focuses on

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No. 36 Mills Bomb detonators in Yemen

George Zahaczewsky Recent photos taken in Aden, Yemen, and provided to ARES by the photographer, show detonator assemblies for the No. 36 series Mills Bomb. These were amongst a variety of munitions left behind by Houthi rebels as they retreated in recent weeks. The container depicted in the images appears to be Canadian in origin

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New images of 9K333 Verba MANPADS from Russian trade show

Michael Smallwood Pictures taken at this year’s MAKS aviation trade show in Moscow show the latest Russian man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS), the 9K333 Verba (“Pussy Willow”). ARES has previously written about the 9K333 Verba in mid-2014, when it entered service with Russian forces, and these new images represent the best view of the system to date. Markings

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ARES Research Note 9 – Estimating Year of Production for FN Herstal FAL Rifles

Armament Research Services has released Research Note No. 9 – Estimating Year of Production for FN Herstal FAL Rifles. Authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones with Stefan Elliott, the note discusses the relationship between serial numbers and year of production for the ubiquitous FN Herstal FAL rifle, and establishes a formula for determining the likely year

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