Illuminating the new Turkish M-60T1 Sabra deployed in Syria

Before anything I want to thanks in first term to @trubia_t but also to @TarMilus and @WithinSyriaBlog for give me their valuable opinion while I was doing this article.

On this article we are going to have a closer look to the new Turkish tank that has also appeared in Syria, the M-60T1 Sabra.

Fist of all the M-60T Sabra is a very deep upgrade designed in Israel and based on the Magach 7C tank which is in turn based on the M-60 Patton, the Israelis called it Sabra Mk. II but when it was chosen by the Turkish Army it was called M-60T from “Türkiye” (Turkey).

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Israeli Magach 7C, the father of the M-60T Sabra, also called Sabra Mk. II

In the end of August, 2016 Turkey launched the Operation Euphrates Shield (OES) with the aim of kick ISIS from some areas in the nort of Syria and also there was a hidden objective to prevent Kurdish from unify their cantons in Syria and ensure survival of some Turkish backed rebel groups.

Since the begin the armored spearhead of the Turkish and its allies during OES was the M-60T Sabra, the tank was quite good and was able to even resist on the front the impact of a 9M133 Kornet, one of the most advanced Russian ATGMs, this is not a small matter as far as the M-60T in the end was based on a tank from the 60s, but despite of that the numerous impacts on the sides of the M-60Ts showed that they still were very vulnerable to the ISIS ATGMs.

The amount of losses of men and material was increasing at a relatively high rate and it finally lead to the appearance of the Leopard 2A4TRs to replace at a certain degree the losses suffered by units equipped with the M-60s.

So the situation was relatively bad and Turkey came up with a new upgrade that has probably been conceived in less than a few months, unless it was a previous secret program, so this is why the M-60T1 probably bornt, to meet the demanding requirements of the new Syrian operational environment.

On 7th February some images of a tank called “M-60T1” merged and that was quite strange as far as we didn’t hear nothing about that upgrade before.

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First image of the M-60T1 Sabra in Syria, via @huseyinbozan

The first interesting thing is the Remote Weapon Station (RWS) that replaces at the left-back of the turret the M85 HMG weapon station, that was not remotely operated, the new RWS uses a typical 12,7 x 99 mm M2 Browning HMG, the new RWS looks like is a N-2000 from the Turkish company Nurol Makina who has put it on the Ejder Yalçin 4×4 armored vehicle, also it is possible that this product has been developed with some know-how from ASELSAN or could be a SARP RWS from the same Turkish company with a lot of experience in the field of RWS design.

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Ejder Yalçin with one variant of the N-2000
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Ejder Yalçin with another variant of the N-2000, this one looks closer to the one featured in the image of the M-60T1

The company provides some information about the N-2000 that is stated to use a DNP-28 ASELSAN night and day vision system and also it can be rotated manually from inside between -20° and +60° in elevation and 360° in azimuth (multi-turn).

In opposition to most tanks in the world the M-60 was one of the few with a commander’s machine gun fired from a protected station without the need to expose himself to the bullets or the shrapnel when firing the machine gun so the motivation of this improve can not be the protection, we think that the reason is due to the optics and at a less extent because of the standarization.

The N-2000 possess good optics, specially for night operations much better than those of the original M-60T M85 machine gun, and also it is the standarization which is a minor point. The M85 is a machine gun only operated in the M-60 series  and, in spite of be similar to the M2 Browning it is still different and could have some disadvantages against the M2 that is used in a lot of vehicles and by the Turskish infantry and so it has a less complex logistic.

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M-60T1 in Syria

The other main improvement of the M-60T1 is the “artifact” located at the side of the turret, but before treat it we would like to say that the opinion emitted about the artifact must not be taken as a fact because we are far from sure to be able to say what it is exactly.

The artifact looks comprised of two different elements that we have not been able to ID, the one on the top looks like a Laser Warning Receiver, a device that would be useful just against the 9M133 Kornet, the only laser guided missile on hands of ISIS, the device below could be a camera or a dazzler, the camera could be useful for driving and at close range during urban fighting, but for us it looks fixed so at a certain degree it wouldn’t have sense to install such a big camera fixed in the end we find this second theory less likely.

The lower part of the artifact could be a TLUS LWRS from ASELSAN but unleast some better images appear we can’t be sure.

Also the theory of a non hard-kill APS similar to the Shtora-1 has some weak points as @trubia_t notest because just 8 smoke-launchers on the tank are not enough to fully exploit a system like this.

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*SARP or N-2000 RWS

So in our opinion the most likely and desirable device would be a dazzler similar in concept to the “red eyes” of the T-90’s Shtora, essentially it consists in a special light able to confuse the automatic part of the guidance system from a Semi Automatic Line of Sight (SACLOS) ATGM, a system present in most ATGMs in Syria, with the exception of the 9M14 Malyutka that is MCLOS, that would explain the fixed position looking at the sides of the device, as far as the M-60T front has shown to be very well protected against all the threats in Syria and so the tank  does not need protection on the front but rather on the sides were nearly all of the impacts had happened.

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T-90A with the dazzlers of the Shtora-1 activated

It is interesting to note the arid camo paint on the M-60T1 what proves the especialization of this upgrade for the Syrian scenario, at the moment just the Leopard 2A4 TR and a few M-60Ts deployed in Syria had get something like it while most M-60Ts even keep the typical Turkish green camouflage.

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M-60T Sabra in Syria with arid camouflage

We are not sure if this is a prototype or an incoming massive upgrade for M-60Ts but it is interesting to note that Turkey has recently launched a competition to upgrade 40 M-60A3s, 40 Leopard 2A4s and 120 M-60Ts, while of course this has no direct relation with the M-60T1s it makes us think that maybe the M-60T1 is a temporary patch until those upgraded tanks are ready.


Hope you have enjoyed the reading, I am writing a book about tank on tank engagements during the Syrian Civil War so stay alert if you are interested on it, also if you want to help me to invest more time in my English articles you can donate something by clicking here.

If you want to contact me for everything feel free to write me at minstertipo@gmail.com

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Made on the Caliphate Attack Drones: Brief Analysis of the Threat

Along 2016 and 2017 have emerged images and videos showing us an exponential increasing use of drones as attack platforms by ISIS and some rebel groups in Syria and Irak, on this article we are going to treat the evolution we have been able to see in their use their capabilities and the projectiles designed by Islamic State.

At first drones were used just for propaganda to record images from above, lately they were used for reconnaissance and intelligence and finally following the logical development  ISIS used them on ground attack role.

How threaty they are?: Knowing their secret weapon

At first ISIS used them as SVBIEDs but with not a very high effectiveness, for example on the New York Times on October 2016 was stated: “Of the three known drone attacks in Iraq, only the one involving the Kurdish soldiers caused casualties. “The explosive device inside was disguised as a battery — there was a very small amount of explosives in it, but it was enough to go off and kill them[…]”.

The relatively low degree of effectiveness is related to the relatively cheap series of drones available for ISIS and their small payload capacity.

Normally civilian drones are designed for especific missions and most of them are not designed to wear big payloads as ISIS needs, still they offer a safety space between the capability of the engines and its total weight letting ISIS install relatively small explosives and devices on them.

On December 2016 in the besieged city of Deir ez Zor the pro-Assad forces were able to down two ISIS drones by presumably using some kind of electronic warfare equipment, both drones can be seen on the images below.

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Both are civilian drones, the first uses a PG-7V and the second an improved PG-7VM warhead. These ones were rocket-propelled grenades originally intended to be fired from the Soviet rocket launcher  RPG-7  with multipurpose capability, and they are able to penetrate more than 20 cm of armor (RHA) or to roughly create an explosion like that of a hand grenade but more powerful.

A PG-7 warhead alone would weight around 1 kg but it would also need a dropping mechanism if it is a tactical support drone, or even a phone or a special device to make the SVBIED exploit at the desired moment unleast the plan is launch the drone straight to the target and make the impact fuze exploit, what could be a difficult task.

While we are not sure if those drones were intended to be SVBIEDs or to be support attack drones they were using typical war material from the region adapted to their new purpose, in spite of use especially designed projectiles.

On November 2016 Conflict Armament Research documented some interesting DIY ” Made in the Caliphate” mortar round fashion artifacts, as can be seen on the images below.

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We have calculate that the lenght and the radius of the cylinder containing the explosive must be 4,5 and 1,85 cm approximately

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The projectile is formed by five elements: (5) The plastic tail designed to gain stability and so accuracy during the flight (4) The main part of the body is united to the tail and made of the same plastic, it is cylindical and inside (3) it is the manufactured explosive  mixture, (1) then it is the pin point steel plain impact fuze and (2)  it also has an ingenious safety system by using a pin that needs to be removed to get the projectile armed.

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Behind these artifacts there is a much bigger project that includes design, production, know-how and testing, what tells us a lot about ISIS State-like capabilities, but still if we have a closer look to some of them we will see that they are not mass pruced but manufactured because their lines are not equal and perfect on every product, we may call this kind of middle way between DIY and industrial product a “DIY/2”.

We have been able to make a rough estimation of the explosive inside the projectiles on the images above, and they have a volume of 40 to 70 cm3 to be filled with an ISIS produced DIY/2 explosive mix with less power than a military one.

Conflict Amamente Research show us on its excellent document  that ISIS has been able to produce plastic fuzes so, why do not use those on these artifacts?. In my opinion when the projectile is falling it is good for the accuracy that most of the weight is on the nose where the fuze is and so if the projectile is so light a fuze composed of steel has a great advantage over a plastic one providing the desired “nose-falling” effect.

Also some may think that this looks like a DIY/2 mortar round, but this can not be true because the “projection cartridge” (as we call it in Spanish) needed to fire a mortar round would destroy the whole projectile if it was made of plastic.

Finally if we compare the ISIS designed projectiles with the adapted PG-7s we will find out that for every PG-7 at least 3 ISIS projectiles probably can be carried by a drone, but to attack an armored vehicle, even like a humvee, just a PG-7 can be effective so If I were a terrorist I would use PG-7s against highly protected targets while ISIS projectiles against enemy exposed infantry or unprotected vehicles. In the end even a M1 Abrams hasn’t got protection enough on the roof to deal with a PG-7.

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Soviet RPG-7 along with a PG-7V (green) and a PG-7VM (black) both used on ISIS drones and very popular warheads in the world

But here comes the other question: Accuracy.

These drones can fly very high but if it is too high they can loose a lot of autonomy and also their payload is very low so there is no possibility to install even some kind of primitive aim device so everything must be done literally by the eye of the operator. If conditions are good without wind nor rain and the altitude is low, I would say no more than 100 metres, a well trained operator might be able to calculate with some precision the dropping, but if we are speaking of a PG-7 warhead not designed to fall from the sky it is very probable that the operator needs to send the drone as a SVBIED straight to the target in order to let the fuze of the PG-7 impact on the target.

Let’s have a closer look to another recently released ISIS video, on this one we see another civilian drone, some claimed that it was one called “X8 Skywalker” while I don’t think it is this model probably they are quite similar products, so for example there is a video on Youtube of a flying X8 that goes extreme and flies at an altitude of 5.341 metres!. Also its payload can be as much as 2 kg, and its price is around 180$ to 250$. This could be considered as a representative example for a typical ISIS  drone.

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View from the camera of a X8 drone
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ISIS drone with two small bombs, it is possible that they were inert and were used just to record the propagandistic part of the video

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On the images above we see more interesting projectiles, in this case the drone mounts two artifacts, one per wing, and they are composed by a similar tail of that of the projectile treated above.

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ISIS produced projectile being dropped

In the case of the artifact used on the attack while we can’t know its size I would say that it has a similar white plastic tail as other ISIS designs while in this case it is coupled with what looks like a 40 mm grenade typical from Western grenade launchers or even a OG-7V HE-Fragmentation warhead designed for RPG-7s.

 

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The ISIS projectile may use a typical Western grenade like one on this image. A normal HE  40 mm grenade has a weight of around 0,25 kg and a kill radius of 5 metres and so is ideally suited for the low payload capacity of a civilian drone

Also when this artifact exploits just at a  few metres from a group of 5 men it produces minor injuries to two of them while heavy injuries to the other three, and this with a relatively accurate attack.

If we do a comparison, what could be the cost of an ISIS SVBIED including car, oil, the man, the explosives and the typical add on armour?. Just the car should cost several times the drone, but still both are different weapons meant for different situations. For example in my opinion every unit of ground based VBIEDs can be a very powerful tactical weapon while a few drones can be useful for a squad or a company of ISIS but not for a whole offensive, and even more if the enemy is digged in fortified areas.

Would also be interesting to see if ISIS includes thermal or infared cameras on its drones, what could be an interesting option for them.

Also I know that this is speculation, but what about the use of big formations of like 20 drones or so, a true unmanned air force ideally suited for non-state actors, maybe the combination of something we may call mini-carpet-drone-bombings could be effective in some situations, or the use of small wings of drones to attack objectives in succession looking if the first drone has succeed and sending another if not, like a true air force does. If this hasn’t happen yet it could be for two reasons: The less important is that the drones, specially those with a certain size are available for ISIS just in limited quantities, but the most important is that they would need a real training program of drone operators, what must be the real challenge for non-state actors. The money should not be an issue as far as buy for example 100 X8s might cost, going extreme, as much as 40.000$ what isn’t a problem for an organization able to earn billions of dollars every year.

I must also say that during the propagandistic video a drone was recording the other drone so it is possible that ISIS has some ability operating at least small groups of drones simultaneously.

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It is obvious that the drone on the image was recorded by another drone

Finally I would like to say that new imaginative and unpredictable tactics using bigger drones formations could be expected if ISIS has time enough.

They are vulnerable

Teach the ground soldiers to fire at the drones could be okay if they are able to mass enough muzzles firing and there is no risk of betray their positions to other ISIS weapons like mortars, but still it is a relatively costly measure. From my point of view the best way to deal with them would be to make troops aware of the threat and so survey the sky and hide when they see or hear something.

Finally as equipment especially designed to combat drones we should not forget that these are civilian drones with badly protected links between the machine and the operator and so they are very vulnerable to minimum electronic warfare countermeasures so apart from specialized EW units I think that the use of relatively cheap devices designed to inhibit the link between the operator and the machine could be enough to effectively deal with the increasing threat that apparently drones possess on the hybrid battlefield.

Anaconda 2016, Cuba

In this article we are going to do a fast ID of images recorded about the recently done Cuban national defense exercise “Anaconda 2016”.

Special thanks to Oryx for his great article about Cuban fighting vehicles

En este artículo vamos a hacer una breve identificación de los vehículos que hemos podido observar durante los ejercicios de defensa nacionales de Cuba “Anaconda 2016”.

Agradecimiento especial a Oryx por su excelente artículo sobre los vehículos de combate de Cuba.

aap-t-130
APP-T-130
bmd-1
BMD-1
bmp-1
BMP-1
brdm-2-2
BRDM-2 modified to have transport capabilities. BRDM-2 modificado para tener capacidad de transporte de tropas
brdm-2-local
Modified BRDM-2 with a 120 mm M-1938 mortar. BRDM-2 modificado con un mortero M-1938 de 120 mm
btr-50
What looks like a BTR-50. Lo que parece un BTR-50
btr-60pb-2
BTR-60PB
btr-60pb
BTR-60PB
jupiter-i-o-ii
Júpiter I or II
l-39zo
L-39C
s-125-sobre-t-55
S-125
mi-8tbk
Mi-8TBK
t-34
Unknown name, local variant it is a T-34 chassis with KS-19 gun. Nombre desconocido, fabricación local, es una barcaza de T-34 con un cañón KS-19
t-55a
T-55
t-62-obr-1967
T-62 Obr. 1967
t-62-obr-1972
T-62 Obr. 1972
t-62m
T-62M
torre-zsu-57-2-en-buque
ZSU-57-2 turret on ship. Torre de un ZSU-57-2 sobre un barco
zis-2-o-zis-3
What looks like a ZiS-2 or ZiS-3 AT gun. Lo que parece un cañón AT ZiS-2 o ZiS-3
uav-unknown
Unknown UAV. Dron de reconocimiento desconocido

Hezbollah getting armored in Syria

During 13th November 2016 merged a lot of images about a Hezbollah parade on the Syrian-Lebanese border town of Al-Qusayr it was very interesting as far as we could saw an unexpected huge armored force owned by the group.

We will divide the article in to three parts, the first will be dedciated to the material found on the images in general, the second will treat the images on their own and in the third part I am going to expose my conclusions.

There were a lot of unconfirmed rumors about Assad supplying heavy material to Hezbollah, even during the 2013 battle for Al Qusayr the Institute for the Study of War said that Hezbollah probably operated T-54 or T-55 tanks however we never see before such evidence of heavy material in hands of Hezbollah this represnts a quality leap on their improvement as a military force able to fight in hybrid and now more conventional conflicts.

Resume of vehicles recognized

Tanks: T-54A, T-62 Obr. 1972, T-72M1, T-72AV also very likely T-55s

IFV: BMP-1s some of them with cage armor on the turret and some with the rail to fire 9M14P ATGM

Close range AA (normally they act as direct fire support vehicles): ZSU-57-2, M-113A1 with ZPU-2, GM chassis series with KS-1 and KS-19, trucks with KS-1 and KS-19

Direct fire support vehicles: technycals

Electronic Warfare Vehicles: probably R-330Ps or externally similar

Self-propelled guns: 2S1 Gvozdika

Supplier: mostly came from SAA, T-72M1s and T-72AVs could also be from Russia but this is unlikely, M-113A1s came from Lebanon but it is not sure if they were captured years ago by Hezbollah or they have been sent by Lebanese Army (LAF)

Part I – General analysis of the material

Unuseful material from the SAA

Most part of this old material could have been stored inside SAA depots until now so it is not a strange thing that SAA gave it to arm Hezbollah.

Here we include KS-12, KS-19, GM series chassis and ZSU-57-2s

Useful but outdated material from SAA

In this category we include all the weapons with a certain degree of activity and usefulness during the war but with outdated capabilities that make them expendable for the SAA.

Here we include the T-54, T-55, T-62 and BMP-1.

In the case of the T-54 it is interesting because until now as we probed no more than twenty T-54s from T-54-3, T-54A and T-54B variants have been documented until now during the five years of war so find them on Hezbollah hands is quite interesting also it is true that T-54 is the baddest tank in active use in Syria and probably hundreds of them are still stored in depots so they would probably be the first option for the SAA to arm Hezbollah.

Good and expensive material from SAA

Here we include T-72AV and T-72M1.

Both are good tanks for the Syrian war standards so it is very strange that they have been donated to Hezbollah, it is also right that just a few of the tanks look T-72s but anyway this supply aims to a strong will to supply Hezbollah with very capable weapons, finally must be noted that the T-72AV and T-72M1 could came from Russia but this is a less likely option as far as those are both Syrian tanks so if they were Russian supplied T-72Bs or just T-72Ms or T-72M1s would be more likely.

Lebanese origin?

It is not a secret that Hezbollah has a lot of influence inside Lebanon and its army as far as the group is a very deep part of Lebanese society, so It would not be a surprise for anybody to find that weapons from LAF ended on hands of Hezbollah but also is true that there is a big step bertween get some light weapons from LAF and get heavy weaponry.

We think that there are enough evidences on this photos to think that it is a possibility that actually could exist a incredibly high degree of corruption/infiltration of Hezbollah inside LAF and who knows if this is an example of corruption or a true hidden support to Hezbollah by the State or the Army of Lebanon .

First of all the Lebanese Army is one of the fews in the world still operating big amounts of T-54s when I did the document about T-54s in Syria I was able to see that all of them were very “battered” from years of storage and fights so it is very suspicious to see all those T-54s so well preserved on Hezbollah hands. Also their colors look closer to Lebanese T-54s than those from Syria but this is not a definitive evidence.

It is important to note that the M-113A1s of the images are mounting a ZPU-2 double KPV machine gun. The M-113 was never operated by SAA and the closer thing to it was one or two normal M-113A1s captured by Jabhat al-Nusra to the 8th Mechanized Brigade during August 2014 while fighting LAF on Arsal Valley but those M-113A1s were for .50 caliber machine gun not for ZPU-2 a much heavier artifact.

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Lebanese T-54-3

And also if we look at what M-113s of the world are mounting ZPU-2s nearly all of the images come from Lebanon where they were used even during 1982 war this is specially relevant as noted Tobias Schnider because those M-113s were provided by USA as free supplies for the LAF, it must be said that they could have been spoils of war with the South Lebanon Army.

Images taken from the excellent “Military in the Middle East”

Part II – Images

A)

On the first two photos we can appreciate various tanks probably they are T-54A or T-55, and they mount the DShK 12.7 mm HMG on the turret. They all look very well preserved and possibly they have received a recent “fine tunning”.

Also on the first image we can appreciate what looks the emblem of this new Hezbollah’s armored unit.

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We can appreciate the emblem of the unit and the DShK HMG on this image

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B)

On the next image at the right we can see the dome shaped ventilator that indicates us that we are facing a T-54, and taking in to account photos before those are probably T-54As

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That dome shaped ventilator and the bore evacuators tells us that this is a T-54A

C)

On the foreground a GM series chassis with a KS-1 85 mm gun mounted on it more interesting is that on the right side there is a column of tanks headed by a T-72AV and followed by a T-72M1 and some T-62s and other tanks that could be T-72M1s or T-55AMs. At the left side there is a column of M-113A1 APCs with ZPU-2 montage.

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D)

On the left side column there are three M-113A1s with ZPU-2s and at the right side there are three T-62 Obr. 1972, the unit shown here is the same of the upper photo.

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E)

On the foreground of the next image we can see a BMP-1 with a 9M14P or 9M14P1 ATGM Malyutka ready to be fired it also has a cage armor surrounding the turret of the vehicle.

Along with the BMP-1 on the foreground is a very uncommon electronic warfare vehicle called R-330, however the image shows us a little so could be another version like a R-370B or a R-381.

Probably it is a R-330P because this is a very uncommon vehicle likely coming from SAA and as Oryx show us there are R-330Ps in service with the SAA.

Also on the background we can appreciate more BMP-1s and T-62s.

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F)

On this image we can see two ZSU-57-2 a very old self propelled AA based on T-54/55 chassis those are quiet uncommon in Syria because most of them probably were until now in storage but also a few of them appeared during the course of the war.

At the front we can see two GM series chassis the one on the left mounts a 85 mm KS-1 WWII designed gun and the one on the right mounts a 100 mm KS-19 this piece was used before in Syria but still it was a very uncommon and outdated one. In the same manner as the GMs there are a few trucks behind them with KS-1s and KS-19s.

At the background we can appreciate three 2S1 Gvozdikas those are 122 mm self propelled guns widely used in Syria by SAA and rebels. At the right side background we can also appreciate two likely R-330s.

Finally there are a lot of technycals some of them likely supplied by Iran.

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G)

On the image below we can appreciate five BMP-1s almost two of them have cage armor around the turret and the first one has the rail to fire the ATGM 9M14 Malyutka.

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Part III – Conclusion

The magnitude and impact of this weaponry must be calculated throughout the course of the time but there is no doubt that this represents a big step for Hezbollah, now they are not just an asymmetric warfare group able to defend by using a hybrid warfare with a mix of guerrilla and light infantry tactics now Hezbollah is a much more capable group with an armored unit with enough power to deal with some regular army units of the LFA. To illustrate this idea we just need to know that Hezbollah’s T-72AV with an advanced AP round or missile could be able to deal even with Israeli Merkava tanks.

This is a huge force specially for a skirmish-war like it is that of Syria also it is going to be interesting to see what lessons Hezbollah can learn about the use of combined arms forces with fire support vehicles, AA, self propelled artillery, IFVs, mechanized infantry, EW vehicles and tanks.

On one hand I want to note the big importance of the fire support forces inside their armored unit as far as we have been able to see KS-1s, KS-19s, ZSU-57-2s, M-113A1s with ZPU-2s and tonnes of technycals in comparison with the relatively few tanks and IFVs on the other hand Iran recently produced its own KS-19s and KS-12s this is strange as far as this kind of guns were discarded decades before by the USSR because they were unable to effectively shoot down planes because their design was based on WWII lessons and technologies but inexplicably Iran decided to produce a new variant of those guns! taking it in to account my point  is that the equipment of Hezbollah looks strongly influenced by Iranian ideas because otherwise would have been very unlikely that the leaders of Hezbollah would have decided  to acquire this kind of strange weaponry on their own.

The resume is easy we are facing a new step forward of Hezbollah in the short term it will mean a new armored unit for the SAA and in the long term a new field of opportunities for Hezbollah to learn about combined arms, conventional and armored warfare and also this is going to give them a bigger military power that could weight a lot on Lebanese internal affairs, negotiations or potential future civil conflicts.

T-54 in Syria

Click here to download the document “T-54 in Syria”:

I would like to correct that those T-54Bs are just T-54Bs and not T-54Ms as incorrectly was claimed in the document.

screenshot_1

This is an  article about the rarest tank in Syria often confused with the T-55.

Lot of new and unknown images about this tank in Syria.

I want to thanks Rao Kumar, Morant Mathieu and Oryx for their help to do this research OSINT work.

 

Mi primer libro: armamento español en Yemen, industria de defensa…

Título:

Relaciones de defensa entre España y países de la península arábiga. En especial el conflicto de Yemen


Adquirir el libro en papel en blanco y negro

 

Existen descuentos para pedidos de varios libros (mínimo cuatro), si está interesado en ello o en cualquier otro elemento del libro contacte con minstertipo@gmail.com


Este libro analiza principalmente las relaciones de venta de material militar desde España a Arabia Saudita, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, Catar, Bahréin, Omán y Yemen. En el caso de este último país se ha realizado un análisis de hasta 18 productos militares españoles que están o podrían estar en el conflicto en que se haya inmerso Yemen.

Al final del libro se incluye una reflexión a cerca de la exportación de material de defensa y su relación con los Derechos Humanos.

Todo el documento cuenta con fuentes, así como numerosas gráficas y tablas para ilustrar el intercambio económico con la península arábiga, así como el inventario del material español en Yemen.

Además hay múltiples imágenes cuidadosamente seleccionadas que prueban la existencia de algunos de los productos militares españoles en la guerra del Yemen.

Dejo aquí el índice para que pueda hacerse una idea de en qué consiste el libro.

  1. Prólogo y metodología  
  2. Implicaciones y generalidades de la industria de defensa en España 

– ¿A qué le llamamos industria de defensa?

– ¿Qué implicaciones tiene la industria de defensa para un país?

– ¿En qué beneficia a España su industria de defensa?

– ¿Cómo es la industria de defensa española?

  1. Relaciones políticas, económicas y militares de España con las naciones de la península arábiga 

– Relaciones políticas

– Relaciones económicas

– Relaciones militares

  1. Armamento vendido por España confirmado, potencial o posible en Yemen 

– Material confirmado

– Material potencial

– Material posible

– Análisis

  1. Conclusiones, errores, aciertos y soluciones 

– Transparencia

– Aplicación del Derecho internacional

– Sobre los Derechos humanos y la venta de material de defensa

En total el libro consta de 100 páginas.


Ejemplos de contenido del libro:


Comencé el proyecto de escribir este libro a finales de marzo de 2016 cuando decidí que por primera vez iba a poner a prueba todos los conocimientos que tenía sobre cuestiones militares.

Desde entonces y hasta ahora me ha llevado decenas de horas y unos cinco meses concluir el libro.

Artillería de tubo en Siria

The same article in English

En este artículo trataré de hacer una recopilación de toda la artillería de tubo y remolcada principalmente diseñada para realizar tiro parabólico  que ha entrado en combate o podría hacerlo en un futuro en Siria.

La labor de la artillería consiste en dañar la moral enemiga, destruir blancos concretos desde la seguridad que proporciona la distancia, mantener las cabezas del enemigo gachas mientras las fuerzas propias avanzan, provocar un efecto de shock previo al ataque y llegado el punto casi toda la artillería de tiro parabólico puede ser usada para realizar tiro tenso y dar fuego d apoyo, modalidad especialmente típica en Siria y en la doctrina soviética.

En principio cuando realiza tiro parabólico sus objetivos son blancos desprotegidos como vehículos sin blindaje o infantería en campo abierto, así como posiciones estáticas como búnkers, nidos de ametralladoras, casamatas reforzadas etc

La munición que con mucho es más común en este tipo de artillería es la HE (High Explosive o Altamente Explosiva, AE) especialmente diseñada para provocar una gran explosión y desperdigar metralla en todas las direcciones, de ahí que habitualmente no se use contra vehículos.

Ahora bien según las experiencias soviéticas obtenidas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial todas las piezas de artillería cuentan con un porcentaje de proyectiles perforantes para que llegado el punto puedan destruir vehículos que cuenten con blindaje que de otra forma difícilmente podrían ser destruidos.

En este artículo no incluiré la artillería de diseño casero.

Sí estás interesado aquí tienes otros artículos a cerca de artillería en Siria:

Sin título 2
***D-32 total pieces is a mere estimation **** El D-74 en realidad es un Tipo 59 chino de calibre 130 mm

 

S-23

Este es un cañón pesado soviético diseñado a principios de los años 50 con un enorme calibre de 180 mm y un alcance con munición normal que puede llegar a los 30 kmtrs.

Este tipo de armamento normalmente se encontraba en fuerzas de reserva de unidades de tamaño superior a la división o en unidades de artillería pesada especialmente constituidas para operar este tipo de mastodontes.

En el caso de Siria según el SIPRI se suministraron 25 piezas de segunda mano durante el año 1974 sin embargo este dato debe ser erróneo ya que estas piezas participaron en la guerra del Yom Kippur de 1973. No obstante parece plausible que en realidad llegaran a principios de 1973 ya que en aquel año según el SIPRI se frmó el acuerdo para su entrega.

A su vez de estas 25 piezas en Siria apenas se han encontrado fotografías de una o dos que eso sí parecen encontrarse en perfectas condiciones.

Por su propia naturaleza es un arma mucho más compleja y que requiere un esfuerzo logístico plausiblemente superior al de cualquier otra pieza de artillería remolcada hoy día en Siria, esto es por su gran tamaño y peso que requieren de medios de transporte especiales, vehículos adicionales para llevar su pesada munición y tropas especialmente adiestradas en su uso.

Todos los defectos anteriores unidos a una guerra de Siria en que el único posible operador asiduo de esta arma sería el régimen de Assad cuyo ejército se encuentra muy desgastado y con una estructura probablemente cada vez más debilitada y decadente hacen que el S-23 seguramente sólo sea usado en situaciones muy concretas, y en especial en operaciones de asedio.

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S-23 en Siria

ML-20

Este es un cañón soviético de diseño anterior a la 2ª Guerra Mundial que se caracteriza por su calibre de 152 mm y su alcance de aproximadamente 17 kmtrs.

En 1966 la URSS y Siria firmaron el acuerdo de suministro de 200 piezas de segunda mano, dicho contrato fue efectuado a lo largo de los años 1967 y 1968.

Es un cañón ya de por sí antiguo en los años sesenta cuando fueron vendidos de segunda mano, es por ello que probablemente estaban almacenados en la reserva. Quizás por eso es un arma que no se aprecia normalmente en Siria.

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ML-20 en Siria

D-1

El D-1 fue un cañón diseñado a mediados de los años 40 en plena Segunda Guerra Mundial en la URSS.

Se caracterizaba por un gran calibre de 152 mm y un alcance relativamente reducido de unos 12 kmtrs.

Según el SIPRI 200 de estos cañones fueron suministrados por la URSS a Siria entre los años 1974 y 1976.

Lo cierto es que hasta el día de hoy no ha sido identificado ni uno en Siria donde probablemente permanecen almacenados en la reserva.

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D-1 expuesto en un museo

2A65 “MSTA-B”

Estamos ante un cañón producido en la antigua URSS y Rusia desde mediados de los años 80 y con un alto calibre de 152 mm, la contrapartida rusa al típico 155 mm de la OTAN. Su alcance es de unos 25 kmtrs. aproximadamente.

De alguna forma vino a sustituir al ya por entonces anciano aunque eficaz D-20 cuyo calibre comparte.

El MSTA-B ha llegado a Siria desde mediados de 2015 junto a la escalada en la participación y envío de material por parte de Rusia.

Se desconoce el número total en Siria pero no obstante por el número de imágenes del mismo está claro que no estamos ante unas pocas piezas aisladas y que hay varias decenas de 2A65.

2A65
2A65 MSTA-B en Siria

D-20

Es un cañón soviético diseñado a mediados de los 40 y que a su vez iba a sustituir a diversos cañones en el arsenal soviético, como el ML-20 o el D-1  entre otros. Cuenta con un calibre de 152 mm relativamente común en el mundo en general y en Siria en particular.

Al igual que el 2A65 el D-20 ha llegado a Siria desde mediados de 2015 junto a la escalada en la participación y envío de material militar por parte de Rusia.

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Combatientes afganos junto a un D-20 en Siria (fuente)

M-46

Estamos ante un cañón de calibre 130 mm diseñado en la URSS a finales de los años 40 y ampliamente suministrado a las naciones aliadas de la Unión Soviética a lo largo de la guerra fría.

Es junto con el D-30 la pieza de artillería remolcada de tubo más común hoy día en Siria por eso es habitual encontrarlo en manos de grupos de todo corte por todo el país.

Tiene un alcance de unos 28 kmtrs. pero a raíz de la falta de entrenamiento muchos grupos los utilizan para realizar fuego directo sobre posiciones enemigas.

Según el SIPRI 650 M-46 de segunda mano fueron transferidos por la URSS a Siria entre los años 1973 a 1975, desde entonces resulta obvio que el M-46 ha constituido la columna vertebral de las unidades de artillería del Ejército Árabe Sirio (EAS).

Además con el mismo se han creado de forma doméstica piezas de artillería autopropulsada. (enlace al artículo)

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M-46 en Siria

Tipo 59

Es un cañón de calibre 130 mm que data de mediados de los años 50 y que fue diseñado China como copia del D-74 soviético. Tiene un alcance de unos 24 kmtrs.

Nació a la par que el M-46 al que de hecho se parece enormemente en todos los aspectos, salvo en el freno de boca conceptualmente muy diferente.

Se desconoce en que año o cuantas piezas fueron suministradas, pero lo cierto es que en un museo militar de Damasco se encuentra expuesto y se reclama que participó en la guerra del Yom Kippur de 1973.

D-74 probvable
Tipo 59 capturado por Daesh en Khanasir, Siria

D-30

Su producción comenzó a principios de los años 60 y desde entonces hasta hoy día permanece siendo producido y usado por numerosos ejércitos. Además numerosos países como Iraq, Irán, Serbia o China han fabricado sus propias versiones.

Posee un calibre de 122 mm, un alcance de unos 15 kmtrs, y ha sido usado como base para el diseño de piezas autopropulsadas como el 2S1 Gvozdika.

Su principal característica reside en un diseño relativamente ligero (apenas tres toneladas) y una buena capacidad de fuego directo e indirecto. Además lo anteriormente dicho repercute en la rapidez con que puede ser posicionado para el disparo y a continuación reposicionado o dispuesto para engancharlo a un remolque.

En conjunto el D-30 es sin lugar a dudas uno de los diseños de artillería soviéticos más exitosos y es por ello que es una de las piezas de artillería más populares hoy día en Siria.

Según el SIPRI 300 D-30 fueron suministrados por la URSS entre 1973 y 1976. Por otro lado en principio no se sabe que otros países potenciales suministradores de D-30 a Siria; como China, Serbia o Irán lo hayan suministrado finalmente pero desde luego no es una opción descartable.

Encontramos dos variantes:

D-30 versión de base

Fue la primera versión diseñada del D-30.

2A18.jpg
D-30 en Siria, de la primera versión en ser producida en serie

D-30A

Fue la siguiente versión a la de base, es la que hoy día utiliza habitualmente el ejército ruso y se diferencia de la anterior en el freno de boca.

2A18A.png
D-30A en Siria

Además con el mismo se han creado de forma doméstica piezas de artillería autopropulsada. (enlace al artículo)

D-32

El D-32 es la versión del D-30 de 122 mm diseñada para ser montado sobre la pieza de artillería autopropulsada 2S1 Gvozdika.

Es una pieza relativamente rara en tanto en cuanto es remolcada, hay tantos D-32 como 2S1, pero en esta variante local montada tan sólo unos pocos. (Si quieres saber más sobre este cañón en Siria, haz clic aquí)

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D-32 en variante doméstica remolcada en Sria

M-30

Estamos ante un cañón de 122 mm soviético diseñado a finales de los años 30. Tiene un cañón corto y su alcance está entorno a los 11 kmtrs.

Según el SIPRI entre los años 1955 a 1957 y 1966 a 1969 la URSS entregó 200 y 300 de estas piezas respectivamente a Siria, probablemente eran de segunda mano ya que en teoría por entonces (1955) el M-30 había dejado de ser fabricado.

Desde entonces parece que es un arma que o bien estaba en la reserva o bien estaba siendo usada únicamente por unas pocas unidades de artillería.

Es un obús relativamente ligero por lo que puede ser especialmente útil para el combate en montaña donde resulta complicado desplegar artillería de cierto calibre a raíz del mal estado y climatología propia de las carreteras alpinas. Quizás por eso la mayor parte de las piezas que vemos se hayan en la provincia de Latakia, la más montañosa de toda Siria.

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En primer plano un M-30 en Siria
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M-30 en Siria

A-19

Pieza de artillería diseñada en la URSS a finales de los años 30 con un calibre 122 mm y un alcance de unos 20 kmtrs.

Fueron suministradas a Siria unas 300 piezas de segunda mano entre los años 1967 y 1969. Con toda probabilidad una parte de esos 300 se ha perdido a lo largo de los conflictos, o han sido sustituidos por piezas más modernas como el D-30.

Lo cierto es que a pesar de que hay alguna imagen es una pieza rar vez avistada hoy día en Siria.

A.19
Una de las pocas imágenes de un A-19 en Siria

M-18/61 copia yugoslava del leFH-18M alemán

El M-18/61 es una copia yugoslava del cañón leFH-18M alemán que equipaba el grueso de las formaciones de la Wehrmacht, se le diferencia de su hermano alemán por los ejes de sus ruedas. Tiene un calibre de 105 mm.

No está claro cuando fueron suministrados a Siria, pero seguramente vienen de antes de la Guerra de los Seis Días de 1967. El hecho de que se haya visto a hombres bastante mayores de unos sesenta años puede darnos una idea a cerca de ello.

En cualquier caso apenas se han encontrado unas pocas piezas (cuatro) y la mayor parte en manos de Ahrar al Sham. Probablemente las cantidades de munición disponibles son muy limitadas.

Además como curiosidad estos cañones como parte de su sistema para controlar el retroceso utilizan nitrógeno que se almacena en una especie de bombonas alargadas que lo contienen y que suelen hallarse tiradas junto al cañón.

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M-18/81, copia del leFH-18M alemán en Siria. Nótese de nuevo la edad de su operador

Seguir leyendo “Artillería de tubo en Siria”