This screenshot, a frame taken from the YouTube video seen below, shows a fighter of the Mouvement pour le Tawhîd et du Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) in Mali holding a 9K32 or 9K32M Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS). From the blurry video it is difficult to determine whether this is a 9K32 (NATO reproting name: SA-7a) or 9K32M (SA-7b) system, both produced in the former Soviet Union, or a foreign variant. It is clear, however, that both the gripstock and Battery Coolant Unit (BCU) are present. MUJAO are associated with Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine, and Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s brigade, and are listed on the United Nations Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
The rest of the video contains little of interest in terms of materiel, with MUJOA fighters seen armed with a typical assortment of AK-pattern assault rifles (including at least two Chinese Type 56-2 rifles), DShKM heavy machine guns, and so on. The video also shows MUJAO fighters using a handful of Soviet-era armoured vehicles, including a BRDM-2 and a BTR-60, both equipped with 14.5×114 KPVT heavy machine guns
My thanks to Aris Roussinos for spotting this video.
Categories: Arms & Munitions ID, Mali, Small Arms & Light Weapons
Tags: 14.5x114, 9K32, 9K32M, AK, assault rifles, BRDM-2, BTR-60, DShKM, KPVT, Light Weapons, Mali, MANPADS, MUJAO, SA-7, SALW, Type 56-2
By N.R. Jenzen-Jones
Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment troops, possibly based out of Honington or Wittering, have been deployed to Bamako as a force protection (FP) element for RAF operations in support of the French intervention in Mali. France’s Opération Serval is being supported by two RAF C-17ER transport planes, operated by No. 99 Squadron from RAF Brize Norton. These aircraft are to ferry French armoured vehicles from the Évreux-Fauville Air Base in France, to Bamako.
Whilst the British government has claimed there will be ‘no UK boots on the ground’, that is not strictly true. In this video, RAF Regiment FP elements can be seen at Bamako Airport with a range of field kit, small arms, and other equipment. The RAF tactical recognition flash and RAF Regiment ‘mudguard’ badges can be clearly seen (see examples below). French VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé) series armoured personnel carriers are unloaded from the C-17ER. RAF regiment gunners fought alongside US Marines during the insurgent attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, last September. The attack left two US Marines of Marine Attack Squadron 211 (VMA-211) dead, 6 AV-8B Harrier II ground attack aircraft destroyed, and two more damaged. Members of No. 5 RAF Regiment Force Protection Wing and elements 2/10 Battalion US Marines then fought to regain control of the airfield, capturing one insurgent, and killing fourteen others.