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Mon Sep 2, 2013, 01:42 PM

Interesting Analysis of the Rockets Used in Syria

http://rogueadventurer.com/author/rogueadventurer/

About N.R. Jenzen-Jones
Security and defence industry consultant, writer and analyst based in Perth, Western Australia. Some of the topics that interest me include small arms and light weapons (SALW), counter-narcotics, counter-piracy, and Special Operations Forces (SOF).


The site has a number of photos and lots of information on the rockets used in Syria. It's not complete, but it represents a specialist's viewpoint on this issue.

Bottom line, according to this writer, is that the rockets are not homemade, but are limited production varieties of rockets used in that region by Iran and Syria. He thinks they were tube-launched, Katyusha-style, and that the payload was the same diameter as the circular airfoil at the base, which seems likely, given the photo below.

It's an interesting read, and is a different perspective. For those who are interested, there are links to additional information and the site has been updated several times. What the author has written makes good sense.

?w=690

53 replies, 3334 views

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Arrow 53 replies Author Time Post
Reply Interesting Analysis of the Rockets Used in Syria (Original post)
MineralMan Sep 2013 OP
MineralMan Sep 2013 #1
leveymg Sep 2013 #26
MineralMan Sep 2013 #28
leveymg Sep 2013 #39
joshcryer Sep 2013 #40
MineralMan Sep 2013 #2
MineralMan Sep 2013 #3
MineralMan Sep 2013 #4
HooptieWagon Sep 2013 #5
MineralMan Sep 2013 #6
HooptieWagon Sep 2013 #9
MineralMan Sep 2013 #10
tkmorris Sep 2013 #20
riderinthestorm Sep 2013 #14
MineralMan Sep 2013 #15
riderinthestorm Sep 2013 #17
MineralMan Sep 2013 #19
dkf Sep 2013 #29
MineralMan Sep 2013 #34
joshcryer Sep 2013 #41
msanthrope Sep 2013 #7
MineralMan Sep 2013 #8
Jesus Malverde Sep 2013 #11
MineralMan Sep 2013 #12
KittyWampus Sep 2013 #13
MineralMan Sep 2013 #16
JHB Sep 2013 #18
MineralMan Sep 2013 #21
MFrohike Sep 2013 #22
spanone Sep 2013 #23
leveymg Sep 2013 #24
MineralMan Sep 2013 #25
leveymg Sep 2013 #27
dkf Sep 2013 #30
MineralMan Sep 2013 #31
joshcryer Sep 2013 #42
dkf Sep 2013 #43
joshcryer Sep 2013 #44
dkf Sep 2013 #45
joshcryer Sep 2013 #46
dkf Sep 2013 #47
joshcryer Sep 2013 #48
Barack_America Sep 2013 #32
MineralMan Sep 2013 #33
Barack_America Sep 2013 #35
MineralMan Sep 2013 #36
JHB Sep 2013 #37
MineralMan Sep 2013 #38
KittyWampus Sep 2013 #49
Sand Wind Sep 2013 #50
MineralMan Sep 2013 #52
sarisataka Sep 2013 #51
MineralMan Sep 2013 #53

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 01:48 PM

1. Additional Information

The author in the OP referred to the Iranian Falaq-2 rocket system. Here's the Wikipedia entry. It has a 10 KM range, and is similar in design.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falaq-2

Here is an image of a Falaq-2 launch system from Iran:



The 333mm-diameter looks right though. Setting about finding additional Iranian-made 333mm rockets, the Falaq-2 looked about the right size.


Iranian-made Falaq-2

Hence, the system fielded in Syria could be an Iranian-made version or a Syrian copy modified for purpose.

The Falaq-2 is an unguided surface-to-surface rocket. It weighs 255 Kgs, including a 120-Kg-warhead. Its maximum range is reported to be about 10 Kms.


http://www.theindependist.com/2012/11/05/more-evidence-of-iran-supplied-weapon-systems/

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:45 PM

26. Here's the Falaq-2 rocket. Nothing like the crude gas rockets in Syria.

And, by the way, if the Falaq-2, which is aerodynamically shaped, has a range of 10km (6 miles), the improvised munitions with truck mufflers on top likely won't fly half that far.

?w=690

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Response to leveymg (Reply #26)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:52 PM

28. It's the launcher that is the question.

The diameter of the rockets used was 333mm, roughly, from a photo of someone holding a tape measure on the base of the circular airfoil. That means that they could be launched from a Falaq-2 launcher, if the diameter of the payload is the same, as it appears to be in the other photos. That's the pertinent issue here. They could also have been launched from a rack launcher. But, Syria has Falaq-2 equipment from Iran, which is a 333mm weapon system.

That's the common ground here. As the person at the source said, these may be low production, special purpose rockets, built to be used with the launch system for specific purposes. Clearly, they are less expensive to build than the rocket you displayed. But, with the diameter the same, they could be launched from the same equipment.

See, the thing is that I'm just posting information from the Internet. Your argument isn't with me, because I'm not making an argument. Talk to the person at the link.

All of that is at the link in the OP.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #28)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:13 PM

39. There's a serious question about the range and accuracy of the rockets. The launcher is just a tube,

and is of little consequence except that someone over at DailyKos (where a version of this is cross-posted) seems to think that the Syrian flying truck mufflers have the same effective range as the Falaq-2, which I think is patent nonsense.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 01:51 PM

2. Video of a Falaq-2 launcher with missile

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 01:52 PM

3. Sorry. Dupe.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 01:56 PM

4. If this is the type of rocket used in the CW attack,

it was not used by the rebels. It has the range to reach the distances from regime-held territory, and requires launching equipment and equipment for handling the munitions. Based on the photos and videos, this looks like the type of weapon shown in the photos after the attack. If so, then it's very likely that the Assad regime was involved, rather than the rebels, who would not have the equipment required to use these weapons.

I've been looking for additional information on this since yesterday, and this is as close as I have come. Similar information is being posted on a number of websites related to this, and it's looking more and more likely that this is the weapons system that was used in Syria.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:00 PM

5. How do you know that?

I imagine Saudi $ can buy the rebels quite a few.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:04 PM

6. I KNOW nothing. I'm surmising something.

Iran produces this type of weapon. I know that. I'm just presenting information I have found through several hours of digging.

I've presented it as a possibility, and have commented on what I think. You might have a different opinion. If so, then present the information that leads you to your opinion. I presented information. I formed an opinion. You can do the same anytime you wish.

If I knew something to be true, I would say so. If I say, "it's looking more and more likely," then I am presenting an opinion. There is a difference.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:22 PM

9. Well, then I surmise...

that functionally similar weapons can be built in alley workshops and bolted into beds of Toyota pickups, for quite cheaply. Smaller rockets can be fired from shoulder launchers or portable mortars. Large chemical weapons canisters can be fired from artillery.
After 2 years of civil war, weapons being shipped in, rebels capturing Syrian Army armouries, and Al Queda explosives experts manufacturing weapons....the whole country is probably one giant Agora weapons bazaar. Probably only the government has ships and aircraft, and neither side has nukes (yet), but otherwise every faction is armed to the teeth with every weapon available on black or gray markets.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:31 PM

10. Any photos of spent munitions from the scene that

match your post? There are photos that match mine. You're welcome to believe anything you can. That will have no more effect on anything than what I posted after searching for information and finding some.

Do the searching. Post what you find that supports your opinion. That's my suggestion.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:00 PM

20. YOUR photos "match his post"

His point seemed to be that at this late stage the rebels have virtually every weapon available to them the Assad regime does, through the black market or more significantly the capture of those arms in the field or within the weapons depots themselves, of which the various rebel groups have captured several.

I don't have a dog in this hunt. I am NOT asserting that the rebels were responsible for this attack. Nor do I believe with any certainty Assad is. I simply don't know. I just don't care for bad logic being employed in order to arrive at the conclusion one favored from the beginning, which is something an awful lot of posters are doing.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:38 PM

14. Just noodling around the internet, it seems as though these systems can be copied

So I'm not sure why you would necessarily come to the conclusion that its "very likely" the Assad regime was involved.

The Arab Gulf States, especially the Saudis, are heavily armed with weaponry - especially sophisticated stuff purchased from us. Its an open secret that the Gulf States have been arming the rebels...

I don't think anything can be said to be likely yet.

Great OP though. Yours and leveymg's from yesterday are certainly on the right track - facts, not speculation.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #14)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:41 PM

15. From the reports so far, there were multiple rockets fired.

The Falaq-2 is an Iranian design. Those are facts, and are part of why I feel it's likely that it was the Assad regime that fired them. Of course they can be copied, but it would involve some reasonably sophisticated metal-working capabilities, access to the materials, and space in which to manufacture them. Not really a garage workshop sort of job, really.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #15)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:58 PM

17. Or the Saudis have their own version too. We simply don't know enough yet nt

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #17)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:59 PM

19. That's possible, too, of course.

Information is not easy to come by. It's always of use, though.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:58 PM

29. $3 billion from Qatar and the Saudis competing for influence can buy a lot.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #29)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:27 PM

34. I suppose. This kind of weaponry, though, is pretty

hard to conceal, and multiple rockets were used. They also would require some sort of rack or tube launcher which could be elevated and aimed appropriately. I doubt the bed of a small pickup truck would be suitable here.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:23 PM

41. I meant to reply to this post, see post #40.

The rebels have IRAMs. Not to say they launched anything, just saying they do have that capability.

The more pressing question is why would rebels have Sarin gas and how did they get their hands on it, more than anything else. Equipment captured tends to be captured in battle. That would mean that Assad's forces were using Sarin when their equipment was captured.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:07 PM

7. Excellent OP. I suspect the UN report will bolster the

current theory that this was a Syrian government operation.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:10 PM

8. Thank you. Ever since yesterday, I've been trying to

run down an identity for the rocket remains that have been posted as photos. They looked to me like a variant of some Katyusha system or another. By doing a long series of Google Image searches, I discovered that others have been doing the same thing, but they appear to have more knowledge of such weapons systems than I do. My own knowledge is old and based on Russian Katyusha systems like the BM-14.

As you say, the UN knows weapons systems. Given the evidence on the scene, I'm sure they've identified the system already, and that information will become part of the overall evaluation of what happened.

Anyhow, I found the search interesting, and the information I found interesting as well.

It has nothing to do with my view of what, if anything, should be by the US. I'm a non-involvement person when it comes to the Middle East, at least in principle. However, we most certainly are already involved, so that adds several factors to what may be decided.

I dislike warfare intensely, but think that facts are a good thing.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:32 PM

11. Protestors dancing around with one of those deadly SARIN filled rockets


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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:34 PM

12. Yes. That is a used rocket, though.

The canister for the payload appears to be gone. What that appears to indicate is that the rocket was not a high-explosive weapon, or there wouldn't be that much left. That would lead me to suspect a chemical payload. Again, though, I can verify that, of course.

I did see that image, too. Thanks for posting it in the thread.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:37 PM

13. interesting. Wish there was no cause to learn about such things.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:42 PM

16. I agree. I'd rather not be looking this sort of thing up.

What I learn or believe doesn't really matter much, though. It's just information.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 02:58 PM

18. An update of that post has video of a group salvaging explosives...

...from a captured rocket that is very similar to those pictured in the Homs attack aftermath.

http://rogueadventurer.com/2013/08/31/update-alleged-cw-munitions-in-syria/
Update: Alleged CW munitions in Syri
New video of one of the munitions has also been documented. The video, embedded below, shows one of the rockets captured by the ‘Holy House Brigade‘ as it is being disassembled. The rebel group are harvesting what looks to be a high explosive (HE) fill from the rocket. The fill and the thin-walled casing can be seen clearly in the video, and in the image below. The physical characteristics of this munitions largely match with one of the munitions seen in Khalidiya, Homs (and discussed in my first post on the matter). Also visible is a black band around the munition, with black numbering visible in the video. Munitions have now been documented with both black and yellow markings, and black and red numbering, though it is not yet clear what these signify. Unlike the munition pictured in the images above, the munition featured in the video and image below (and the similar rocket seen in Homs) appears to have only one hole or port in the warhead baseplate. Whilst not conclusive, this could point to a difference in fill type.

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Response to JHB (Reply #18)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:02 PM

21. Thanks for posting that.

We're all dependent on our sources. I'm not sure how to interpret the video, though. It certainly looks like the ones we're talking about, though.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:10 PM

22. Interesting stuff

This should make it easier for people to sort their thoughts on this whole mess. Thanks.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:22 PM

23. k&r...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:40 PM

24. In your travels, if you come across something about their range, please let us know.

Particularly the smaller ones (5-6'), as those are the ones we've seen photos at the 8/21 target sites.

Thnx

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Response to leveymg (Reply #24)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:41 PM

25. The range of the Falaq-2 is approximately 10 km.

Just over 6 miles. I think you're underestimating the total length of the ones in the photos, frankly. But, whatever.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #25)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 03:48 PM

27. Please see my comment and photo, above. The things in Syria aren't Falaq-2 rockets.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:03 PM

30. Why aren't we seeing this sort of documentation from the administration?

 

Why must we pick through the Internet?

I would appreciate what data we do have, then we can match it up to what is splattered all over twitter, YouTube, etc.

If they BS this, they WILL be called out.

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Response to dkf (Reply #30)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:10 PM

31. I can't answer that question. I'm not part of any government organization.

So, we'll have to wait and see what they reveal over time.

What has been released publicly may not be all there is that could be released, of course.

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Response to dkf (Reply #30)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:25 PM

42. The administration doesn't want us to know their source.

Which is the internet.

It makes them look like they can't get the right intel on the ground and instead are relying on social media. That doesn't look good at all. Just look at how people responded to the "hundreds of videos" comment.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #42)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:26 PM

43. Seriously why hide what we collect? How does that expose anything?

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #43)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:28 PM

44. Did you read my post?

I'm saying they don't know more than we know. They don't want to look weak.

The pictures, the data, the intel, it's all instructed by the same social media sources.

They might have a few spies on the ground but they're not going to be gathering much more data than we're getting via social media.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #44)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:34 PM

45. So exactly what are they testing? Nothing? Do we really have NOTHING in our hands?!?!?

 

What about the weapons inspectors? Don't they have anything?

Holy cows.

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Response to dkf (Reply #45)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:41 PM

46. Sure. They got samples.

I'm saying that the weapons themselves are so inconspicuous and made by the Syrian military that we don't know if they're from the rebels or from Assad or even, at this point in time, what their contents were. That's all I'm saying. We'll have to wait for the report on the contents. From what it looks like though most of the weapons you see in pictures are not chemical weapon warheads. Only one of them discovered so far (which the UN did inspect) looks like a canister that disperses chemical weapons.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #46)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:45 PM

47. You'd think we'd at least have remnants that we could conclusively assert came from Assad's stocks.

 

Then we'd have to prove he gave the order.

If we don't even have that then this is incredibly reckless

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Response to dkf (Reply #47)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:50 PM

48. Sure.

Plausible deniablity. He's only indiscriminately shelled cities all over Syria but he has no reason to use gas.

I think it's reckless for other reasons.

That Assad needs a pretext to crackdown harder than he has been so far.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:19 PM

32. Very interesting. Hopefully this will help put to be the "it was the rebels" nonsense.

I found particularly interesting the video of one of the rockets being loaded by the Syrian Republican Guard. I wonder who the individuals in civilian clothes are?

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #32)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:24 PM

33. I have no idea. I was really just looking for a system that

could have launched these things. The 333mm diameter was the primary clue, really, which makes them compatible with the Falaq-2 launch system. The video, showing this type of rocket, was icing on the cake when it comes to identifying the weaponry. I don't know the uniforms used there.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #33)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:39 PM

35. Apparently the red berets are worn by Republican guard.

So that's who those guys are. But as to the other guys, who seem to be the experts in the launcher, I don't know.

Still, seeing them, and remembering Hezbollah's threat to attack Israel from within Syria, makes me nervous.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #35)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 04:43 PM

36. Yes. Well, apparently Hezbollah also has access to

those launchers, along with Syria. Iran is the source. As for the actual rocket, it appears to have been made to be used in those launchers, but would be far less expensive to manufacture than the actual rockets the launchers are designed for. Needs must, as our friends in the UK say.

So, you could be right in your assessment of the guys in the civilian clothing. I simply don't know.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:05 PM

37. Another article, from Jane's

Syrian military allegedly used makeshift rockets in chemical attack
Jeremy Binnie, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

There has been speculation that Syria's military used an unusual and crudely manufactured rocket in the apparent chemical weapons (CWs) attack carried out in the Damascus area on 21 August. The remnants of this type of rocket have been seen several times in videos and photographs published on the internet earlier this year, but there has been a surge in the amount of imagery featuring the munition in the wake of 21 August incident.

The weapons are broadly similar in layout to what the US military calls improvised rocket-assisted mortars (IRAMs),in that they consist of a comparatively slender rocket motor fitted to a warhead of a far larger calibre. Iranian-backed insurgents operating in Iraq made their IRAMs by attaching stubby 107 mm rocket motors to cylinders filled with high explosive to increase their payloads at the expense of range and accuracy.

The Syrian version uses longer motors, possibly taken from 122 mm artillery rockets, and has a tail-stabilising assembly consisting of large fins encircled by a ring. The diameter of the warhead could be 333 mm, which would allow the weapon to be used with launchers associated with more conventional rockets, such as Iran's Fajr-5 and Falagh-2.
****
While the crudeness of the rockets ostensibly strengthens the argument made by Syria and its allies that insurgents are responsible for any CW attacks, the individual numbers sprayed on their rocket motors suggest they are being mass produced on a scale that has not previously been seen in opposition-controlled areas.
Full article at link:
http://www.janes.com/article/26414/syrian-military-allegedly-used-makeshift-rockets-in-chemical-attack

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Response to JHB (Reply #37)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:08 PM

38. Thanks for that.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 03:50 PM

49. Analysis of the Rockets Used in Syria- Bookmarked

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 03:53 PM

50. Thanks for the info !

 

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Response to Sand Wind (Reply #50)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:08 PM

52. You're welcome. I was exploring yesterday, and assembled

what I could find. It is raw information and analysis by people I do not know, so it is what it is.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:07 PM

51. Very good research

I had considered BM-24 or 27 but each had drawbacks. I completely overlooked the Falaq-2.

A rocket in the 300+mm range makes more sense and it is logical the Syria would have some form of homemade version by this time. It does not prove conclusively who is responsible though circumstantial evidence points to government forces, authorized or a rogue operation.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #51)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:11 PM

53. Thanks.

I started looking a couple of days ago, after seeing the photos of the spent rockets. The site I linked to seems to have figured it out pretty well, and more information has appeared that supports their identification.

I"m not an armaments specialist at all, so I had to simply dig, using Google Images to see if I could find images similar to the spent rocket photos. I started with the old Russian systems, and they led me, finally to these oddball rockets, designed to be a cheap fit into the Falaq-2 launch system.

They're a clever design, really, utilizing an existing launch platform to launch inexpensive, easy to manufacture rockets. The actual Falaq-2 rockets are a lot more sophisticated.

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