The Hoplite

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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Improvised 80 mm S-8 MLRS system in Ukraine

Michael Smallwood An image posted to social media at the beginning of August shows Ukrainian troops atop a tracked 9K35 Strela-10 armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) (NATO reporting name: SA-13 Gopher), with two Soviet B-8 rocket pods fixed in an improvised turret arrangement. It appears Ukrainian forces have developed an improvised multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) on the tracked vehicle.

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United States Mk 14 EBR in Syria

Michael Smallwood Images recently uploaded to Twitter by the Free Syrian Amy’s ‘Division 30’ show combatants with US-made arms. In one image, a Mk 14 EBR (enhanced battle rifle) series weapon is visible in the foreground, while another fighter holds what is likely an M16A4 rifle. The Mk 14 EBR series are self-loading rifles chambered for 7.62 x 51 mm and

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Iranian Safir light tactical vehicles in Iraq

Alex Harper Images of Iranian weaponry in Iraq have become more frequent in recent months, as clashes between the Islamic State (IS) and its opposition forces have intensified. These weapons are primarily being employed by Shi’a militias such as Kata’ib Hezbollah and the Badr Army, but have also been spotted in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga

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Small Arms Survey releases ‘Issue Brief 14: Documenting Small Arms and Light Weapons’

ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones has authored Small Arms Survey Issue Brief 14, a basic guide to documenting small arms and light weapons (SALW). Released last week, Issue Brief 14 gives a step-by-step approach to documenting SALW, as well as an overview of safety procedures and guidelines for undertaking such work in the field. See below for

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Arms Diversion in Iraq – Iranian RU60G thermal weapon sight

Galen Wright Photos made available via Twitter in July show a new addition to Iraq’s bustling black-market – an Iranian RU60G thermal sight, priced at $5,000 USD. Although Iranian arms have been well documented in Iraq, this example highlights a new concern: unauthorised transfers to secondary users. The RU60G is produced in Iran by the privately operated company Rayan

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ARES Research Note 8 – Durability of self-loading rifles

Armament Research Services has released its eighth Research Note, focusing on the durability and longevity of self-loading rifles. Authored by ARES Researcher Ian McCollum, the Note examines some of the core explanations for the durability of such weapons, as well as identifying the components which suffer during regular use and from poor maintenance. In particular,

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RBK-250 ZAB-2.5 cluster munitions used in Libya

N.R. Jenzen-Jones Images recently posted to Twitter and Facebook appear to show the remains of an RBK-250 ZAB-2.5 incendiary cluster munition, apparently documented in Derna, in eastern Libya. ZAB (Zazhygatelnaya Aviatsionnaya Bomba; incendiary aircraft bomb) series weapons include a range of unitary incendiary bombs as well as cargo munitions. The RBK-250 ZAB-2.5 has a nominal weight of

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Hopak-61 rifle presented at Ukrainian arms inspection

Update 150828: A new image of the Hopak-61 rifle has surfaced (below), taken at the Arms & Security 2015 (ЗБРОЯ ТА БЕЗПЕКА – 2015) expo in Kiev and posted less than an hour ago. The rifle is manufactured by Mayak JSC, and is described as a modernised AKM rifle ‘operational-portable’. Michael Smallwood Amongst arms and equipment

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Research Report 4: Less-lethal munitions in Ferguson, Missouri

Armament Research Services is proud to announce the release of the latest publication its Research Report series. Research Report No. 4: Less-Lethal Arms & Munitions Documented in Ferguson, Missouri examines impact and riot control agent (RCA) munitions employed by security forces during the 2014 riots in Ferguson. Authored by chemical weapons specialist Peter White and

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