Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Transmission

If The Scrap Fits: Syrian Rebels Build A Homemade Tank

  • From a distance, it looks rather like a big rusty metal box. Closer inspection reveals the latest achievement of the Syrian rebels: A homemade armored vehicle waiting to be deployed. Sham II, named after ancient Syria, is built from the chassis of a car and touted by rebels as "100 percent made in Syria."
  • A Syrian rebel uses a control stick to activate the machine gun of the Sham II, the homemade armored vehicle made by the rebels' Al-Ansar Brigade, in Bishqatin, 4 kilometers west of Aleppo.
Invention consists in avoiding the constructing of useless contraptions and in constructing the useful combinations which are in infinite minority.
-- French mathematician Henri Poincare
 
One could be forgiven for thinking that the Syrian rebels currently fighting to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have spent a little too much time watching "Junkyard Wars."

To wit: the unfortunately named Sham II. (It's a reference associated with a geographical region known as Greater Syria, in case you're wondering.)

Using the chassis of an old car and some 2.5-centimeter metal plating (sporting what looks to be a healthy patina of rust), rebels based in Bishqatin, near Aleppo, constructed a homemade tank.

Perhaps the singular feature of this killing contraption is that its turret-mounted 7.62-millimeter machine gun appears to be controlled by a game console from an old PlayStation.

The driver of the tank steers using information relayed from five externally mounted cameras to a video screen inside. As "The Atlantic" writes, "it kind of looks like a man cave."

Touted by the rebels as "100 percent made in Syria," the tank, which seats two, took a month to design and build and reportedly cost $10,000 (machine gun not included).
 
Abud, a rebel fighter involved in the project, surmises that the Sham II can resist up to 23-millimeter cannon fire but could not withstand tank fire or a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade.
 
Abud says the Sham II is soon to see action as part of the Saad Benmoaz battalion of the Al-Ansar brigade.

In the understatement of the year, the French news agency AFP reports that the Sham II is a big improvement over its predecessor, which protected the driver but left the rest of the crew exposed.

-- Grant Podelco

Watch a video of the Sham II from Russia's RT TV station:
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by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
December 11, 2012 10:30
A real beauty and a world-beater-thats what this machine is-and now we are all sure the rebels are gonna win.Meanwhile the new georgian government has ordered 250 such contraptions for the new georgian army and they have promised a new better version of the tank featuring 4 horse,pardon donkey powers-there will be 2 vakhtangs pulling up the tank and 2 more vahes pushing it from behind.the new georgian tanks will also feature the latest stealth technology,making them invisible for the russians who will be wondering what hit them,and the georgians are sure to win back Abhazia,South and even North Ossetia and Kosovo and Bosnia as part of future Great Albania!!! So lets keep our fingers crossed,and be ready for the upcoming 21th of Dec.feasts!!!

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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