More on ISIS Weaponry

Last night I posted a series of screen shots of Syrian weaponry captured by ISIS, excerpted from an ISIS propaganda video that was later taken down by YouTube.

Several of our commenters identified and discussed some of the weapons. Today a reader in Europe sent in his own identifications. I’ve added some of the photos to his brief remarks.

Syrian plane #1

Planes #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8: MiG-21. Very old, unable to fly.

Syrian missiles #1

Syrian missiles: air-to-air, and surface-to-air missile.

Syrian tank #1

Syrian Tank #1 is BMP-3.

Syrian tank #2

#2 is T-55 or T-64.

Syrian munitions #1


Wooden crates: tank ammunition, probably
Munitions, green: anti-tank mines (likely)

Gun #2: ZSU 23-2 very old, stone-age.

Syrian gun #2

All of the above except the MiGs are still usable and can shoot “nice holes”.

See last night’s post for all fifteen screen caps, plus readers’ comments on the weapons.

9 thoughts on “More on ISIS Weaponry

  1. I have to disagree. Tank #1 can’t be BMP-3 (which is a considerably more capable vehicle), the turret is too far back and the hatch is too far forward of the turret. It must be BMP-1. Tank #2 could be a T-55 I agree but not a T-64 (again much more capable, typo?), my money is on T-62.

  2. According to wikipedia (I know …), there are no BMP-3s in Syria’s or Iraq’s armed forces. If that is correct, it is most likely a BMP-1 or BMP-2, both of which are available for an enterprising thief in Syria and/or Iraq.

  3. Here is a nice side view of T-64:
    Clearly, T-64 has 6 wheels, but the Syrian tank #2 has only 5.

    Here is a nice side view of T-55:
    T-55 is easily recognizable because its two front wheels are distinctly separated. However, Syrian tank has the similar spacing between REAR wheels. So it’s not a T-55.

    Here is a nice side view of T-62:
    Complete match. Same wheel configuration. Same turret. Same machine gun on the turret. Syrian tank is a T-62 without any doubt. I can’t understand how anyone can confuse it with a T-64 which is a completely different design.

  4. Mig 21’s are unable to fly … on what basis? Being too old? Wikipedia says this:

    “Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants).”

    STILL in service in “many countries”, most produced combat aircraft since Korea, most-produced supersonic jet in history … This tells us:
    (a) not too old to fly
    (b) plenty of spare parts available on the open and/or black market
    (c) many people with expertise for flying and maintaining these aircraft — likely more than any other specific plane in the world.

    Even if these particular airframes are grounded, don’t count them unflyable. IS has almost unlimited financial resources, a huge supporter base with many connections and many with direct experience in military and air force service. “too old. Unable to fly” is not a helpful assessment.

  5. Further the captured planes were on air bases in Syria that were currently in use. You can’t tell me that Syria was pouring resources into air bases whose planes were simply unusable.

  6. MiG-21 isn’t so easy to operate as many people think it is. It requires a lot of ground equipment, among the most important are the trucks with liquid oxygen/compressed air and the trucks with electric starters (so called APA). These were not seen in any of the pictures and without them those MiGs are useless. What we can see though is that the Syrian plane #1 probably has damaged or missing front inlet cone – it looks like it’s made of cardboard and doesn’t even fit well on the aircraft.
    Inlet cone is one of the more complex pieces of equipment on MiG-21, it’s operated hydraulically and a fully operational MiG-21 parked on the ground should have an inlet cone which looks like this:

    MiG-21 which is not used, but is properly maintained should have a covered inlet cone, at least with some firmly fixed tarpaulin or ideally like this:

    To make a long story short, those ISIS MiGs are apparently standing there in the desert, experiencing sandstorms and adverse weather without even their inlet cones covered meaning they are probably getting zero maintenance for who knows how long and indeed those inlet cones (and aircrafts as such) look just like that. Thank you for attention.

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