MANPADS collection program netted hundreds of missiles in Iraq, documents reveal

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.

MANPADS_collection_program_Table_1

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MANPADS collection program netted hundreds of missiles in Iraq, documents reveal

Newly released documents on weapons recovered in Afghanistan

Documents: Arms caches seized in Afghanistan, April through June 2011

Source: U.S. Department of Defense RPG_markings

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 Surve submitted a request to US Central Command (CENTCOM) for documents and photos of arms caches recovered in Afghanistan from April through June 2011. In respoRPG_launchernse 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.

2) Cache – Complex Cache, Helmand, 3 June 2011. Items: Artillery rocket, landmine, IED components, explosives, small arms ammunition. Continue reading “Newly released documents on weapons recovered in Afghanistan”

Newly released documents on weapons recovered in Afghanistan

The Conventional Weapons Threat to Land Forces in Afghanistan

Document: The_Conventional_Weapons_Threat_to_Land_Forces_in_Afghanistan-U

Source: UK Defence Intelligence StaffUK_Afghanistan_rpt

Publication Date: 27 December 2012

Notes: Obtained by Small Arms Survey under the UK Freedom of Information Act. Posted as received from the responding agency.

Full Document

For more information on small arms and light weapons acquired by armed groups in Afghanistan, see

1) ‘Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia’ in Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets.

2) UK Defence Intelligence Threat Statement on Insurgent weapons in Afghanistan

3) Small Arms Ammunition Identification Guide for Iraq and Afghanistan

4) Weapons seized by British Forces in Afghanistan

The Conventional Weapons Threat to Land Forces in Afghanistan

Small Arms Used by Anti-coalition Insurgency in Iraq

Document: Iraq: UPDATE – Small Arms (Infantry Weapons) Used by the Anti-Coalition InsurgencyIraq_seized_cache_Oct_07

Source: U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center

Publication Date: 17 December 2004

Notes: Obtained by Small Arms Survey under the US Freedom of Information Act. Posted as received from the responding agency.

Full Document

For more information on small arms and light weapons acquired by armed groups in iraq, see ‘Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia’ in Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets. Oxford University Press.

Photo: weapons cache found in a vacant house in Iraq, 28 October 2007

Small Arms Used by Anti-coalition Insurgency in Iraq

Insurgent innovation: Air-to-ground rockets as improvised rocket-propelled grenades

Document: Iraq: Use of Air to Ground Rockets as Improvised RPGs Grows

Source: U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center

Publication Date: 14 July 2004
S5_launcher_1

Notes: Obtained by Small Arms Survey under the US Freedom of Information Act. Posted as received from the responding agency.

Full Document

For more information on air-to-ground rockets fired from improvised launchers, see Rogue Rocketeers: Artillery Rockets and Armed Groups, Small Arms Survey Working Paper 19 and Improvised Employment of S-5 Air-to-Surface Rockets in Land Warfare: A brief history and technical appraisal, ARES Research Report No. 1.

Below are higher quality color copies of photos used in the NGIC report (acquired from the US Defense Department via FOIA):

S5_launcher_3 Continue reading “Insurgent innovation: Air-to-ground rockets as improvised rocket-propelled grenades”

Insurgent innovation: Air-to-ground rockets as improvised rocket-propelled grenades

Weapons seized by British Forces in Afghanistan

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.

For more information on weapons seized from armed groups in Afghanistan, see ‘Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia’ (pp. 330-6).

 Weapons_seizure_list

Photographs:

2. PKM
Item 2. PKM

Continue reading “Weapons seized by British Forces in Afghanistan”

Weapons seized by British Forces in Afghanistan