Invention consists in avoiding the constructing of useless contraptions and in constructing the useful combinations which are in infinite minority.
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: