Dispatches: V9N5


Boko Haram with UAG-40 Automatic Grenade Launcher in Nigeria

By the ARES Team

In April 2016, Boko Haram (the Nigerian affiliate of the Islamic State) released information and images relating to an ambush against a component from the Nigerian Army’s 155 Task Force. Among the captured weapons and equipment was a UAG-40 automatic grenade launcher manufactured by Leninska Kuznya of Ukraine.

The UAG-40 is a blowback-operated automatic grenade launcher chambered for the 40 x 53SRmm cartridge. It is significantly lighter than many other automatic grenade launchers chambered for this cartridge, weighing less than 30 kg complete with tripod. The model seen in Nigeria seems to be the more recent iteration of this weapon, which was presented to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in January 2015. This version includes a MIL-STD-1913 (“Picatinny”) rail for mounting optics, modified ammunition feed device and a footrest incorporated into the tripod of the weapon. The UAG-40 captured by the Nigerian affiliate of the Islamic State seems to be mounted in an elevated tripod connected to the bed of a pickup truck.

In recent years, Ukraine has made a number of substantial arms deals with Nigeria, including the sale of BTR-4 infantry fighting vehicles and T-72AV main battle tanks. Another UAG-40 was documented in March 2016 in service with Nigerian forces during the offensive against Boko Haram in Maiduguri and Yola (see image).

The UAG-40, chambered for 40 x 53SRmm caliber common among Western military forces, represents a way for Nigerian forces to standardize with Western calibers while acquiring weapon systems faster than is often possible from Western manufacturers due to licensing and export restrictions.

UAG-40 Automatic Grenade Launcher Technical Specs

Special thanks to ARES Researcher Yuri Lyamin and @AbraxasSpa. This article is courtesy of Armament Research Services (ARES). See www.armamentresearch.com for further original content.

Imam Ali Brigade members with a North Korean Type 73 GPMG.

North Korean Type 73 GPMGs in Iraq, Syria and Yemen
By Ali Richter | ARES

The North Korean Type 73 GPMG has been previously documented in Iraq and Syria and observed in Yemen. Images from Iraq show the Type 73 primarily in the hands of Iraqi Shi’a militias, particularly Badr Brigade forces, which have operated under direction from, and with substantial military support from, Iran. Other groups have also acquired limited examples of the Type 73, including the al-Imam Ali Brigade and the Christian Babylon Brigades.
The Type 73 has also been documented in the hands of the Syrian Arab Army operating near Palmyra, Syria. A recent video from the Al-Masirah channel shows the Type 73 in the hands of a Houthi fighter in Taiz governorate.

Houthi fighter armed with a North Korean Type 73 GPMG in Taiz governorate, Yemen.

The Type 73 is a rotary-locked, gas-operated general purpose machine gun chambered for the 7.62 x 54Rmm cartridge. It weighs in at 10.6 kg and is 1,190mm in length. It is commonly fed from either non-disintegrating belts (typically 100 or 250 rounds, although troops in combat sometimes shorten these or use irregular lengths) or 30-round removable box magazines. The Type 73 is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a “light machine gun.”

The common denominator linking the presence of the relatively rare Type 73 GPMG in Iraq, Syria and Yemen is likely to be support from Iran. Iran received the Type 73 GPMG from North Korea, likely during the late 1970s to mid-1980s, and employed these weapons during the 1980-1988 Iran–Iraq War.
Iran has continued to employ the Type 73 GPMG in a reserve role in recent years, issued to the paramilitary Basij forces and observed during exercises in the past decade.

North Korean Type 73 GPMG Technical Specs

Special thanks to ARES Researcher Yuri Lyamin and Associate Researcher Galen Wright. Technical specifications from Maxim Popenker’s World Guns. This article is reproduced courtesy of Armament Research Services (ARES). See www.armamentresearch.com for further original content.


Craft-Produced Suppressed Weapons in Donbass
By ImproGuns

Images shared via social media purport to show new “silent weapons for Special Forces of the [Donetsk People’s] Republic.” Information accompanying the images claims the weapons are manufactured locally by DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) separatist forces in Donbass. One of the weapons, dubbed “Deaf-mute Aunt Tanya from Donbas,” appears to be a modified Russian TT-33 type, self-loading pistol which has been converted to chamber the 9 x 18mm Makarov cartridge with the addition of a newly manufactured barrel. This barrel is threaded to accept a suppressor.

Also shown are two locally produced submachine guns, one of which was previously documented in an ARES Research Report No. 3, “Raising Red Flags.”
This particular weapon appears to be a derivative of a submachine gun produced in the early 1990s at the Zavod Arsenal plant in Kiev and is possibly a continuation of this production by separatist forces. The weapon can be seen fielded by a separatist fighter with the suppressor and wire stock removed. A smaller submachine gun, which is also shown, appears to incorporate an integrally suppressed barrel unit. Such a configuration reduces overall length while still incorporating a
suppressor of a useful and effective size.

This article is courtesy of Armament Research Services (ARES). See www.armamentresearch.com for further original content.


Hungarian Danuvia K1 for Sale in Libya
By Graeme Rice | ARES

ARES recently announced our ongoing data collection and analysis pertaining to the illicit sale of arms via social media and communications platforms in conflict and post-conflict zones.

A rare Hungarian Danuvia K1 (Kucher Model 1) submachine gun was offered for sale on a social media platform used to trade arms in Libya in February 2016. More properly the Kucher Könnyü Géppisztoly K1 Minta, the K1 is a simple blowback weapon which fires from the open-bolt position. It is chambered for the 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev cartridge, which has proven relatively rare in Libya. The weapon features an under-folding metal buttstock and feeds from a 35-round detachable box magazine.

The K1 is based on the prototype Géppisztoly 44.M, itself a simplified derivative of the Danuvia 43.M, designed by Pál Király of the Danuvia company. As such, it is sometimes referred to as the Király-Kucher K1. The 44.M prototype was refined and developed into the 53.M by József Kucher, formerly an assistant to Mr. Király.

One of these weapons was offered for sale at 600 Libyan Dinars (approximately $440 USD) while another post acted as a “wanted” advertisement seeking magazines for the weapon. These weapons are considered rare globally, and there is little information available regarding their international distribution. It is unclear how many of these weapons are in circulation within Libya, and they have only been documented twice during ARES’ analysis of the online illicit arms trade in the country.

The K1 was adopted in limited numbers by Hungarian law enforcement and border guard units in 1953; however, it was not selected for widespread use by the Armed Forces. In Hungarian service it is known as the Géppisztoly 53.M. It is not clear how the weapon arrived in Libya.

Hungarian Danuvia K1 Technical Specs

This article is courtesy of Armament Research Services (ARES). See www.armamentresearch.com for further original content.