Documents: Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) collection program weekly summaries
Source: U.S. Department of Defense
Publication Dates: 5 December 2003 through 2 April 2004
The following tables and analysis are derived from documents* on a MANPADS collection program established by the US military following the looting of Iraqi military facilities in 2003. The documents, which consist of weekly progress reports, provide detailed data on the types and quantities of MANPADS and key components (missiles and launchers) recovered through the program, the value of payments for these items, and the quantity of MANPADS and components captured by coalition forces during the time period studied.
The data reveals that, despite repeated claims to the contrary, MANPADS collection programs can be effective in certain circumstances. In less than a year, Iraqi citizens turned in 934 MANPADS missiles and 277 launchers in exchange for a combined total of just $424,000. While most of the items collected were first generation SA-7-pattern systems and components, several dozen missiles and launchers for second-generation SA-14 and SA-16 MANPADS were also turned in, along with a smaller number of unspecified ‘other’ MANPADS. This data is summarized in Table 1.
Documents: Arms caches seized in Afghanistan, April through June 2011
Source: U.S. Department of Defense
Publication Dates: See below
Notes: As part ongoing efforts to better understand the weapons acquired and used by armed groups and other unauthorized end-users, Small Arms Survey submitted a request to US Central Command (CENTCOM) for documents and photos of arms caches recovered in Afghanistan from April through June 2011. In response to this request, CENTCOM provided the following storyboards (succinct summaries of cache seizures and other events). Many of the documents include photos of the markings on one or more of the seized items. The items consist primarily of older generation Chinese and Soviet-designed small arms, light weapons, and ammunition, along with large quantities of IED components and explosives. The items are consistent with those recovered from caches previously studied by Small Arms Survey.
The documents were obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act. They are posted as received from the responding agency. For more data and information on illicit weapons in Afghanistan, see the links at the bottom of the post.
1) ERW – Weapons Cache, Kandahar, 2 April 2011. Items: Recoilless rifle rounds, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds and components, hand grenades, small arms ammunition. Includes photos of markings.
Document(s): Weapons seized by British forces in Afghanistan from November 2011 through October 2012.
Source: UK Ministry of Defence
Release Date: 17 December 2012
Notes: Obtained by Small Arms Survey and the Federation of American Scientists under the UK Freedom of Information Act. The request letter asked for ‘copies of photographs (and accompanying summaries) of weapons seized by British forces in Afghanistan from November, 2011 through October, 2012.’ Properly classified information was excluded from the request. Item identification reproduced verbatim from source.
The responsive documents provided by the UK MOD consisted of a list of items seized by UK forces (‘weapons seizure list’), along with several dozen photographs of the seized weapons identified in the list (see below). Note that the MOD did not include corresponding photographs for several items on the list.