Belarusian Optics In Use By SAA Forces

    Recent photographic evidence has shown that Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is equipped with DNS-1 Day & Night Vision Sights from the Belarusian company “Belarusian Optical & Mechanical Association”. These optics have been seen mounted on both AK74Ms and PKMs using a Picatinny rail on a standard Kalashnikov optic mounting platform in use on many Soviet small arms designs. Although these optics haven’t been seen in large quantities, their presence in two photographs signifies at least a small order of such DNS-1 optics. The DNS-1 appears to have an infrared capability in addition to a standard daytime usage mode, very similar to the U.S. Army’s discontinued Day/Night AN/PVS-10 of the 1990s and early OIF/OEF eras. Although these sights were cutting edge technology when they were introduced, today they tend to be overweight compared to numerous other equivalent optics available. For the Syrian Army, these optics would be a tremendous advantage over the rebels they are fighting, especially during periods of low light.

    The presence of these optics could possibly be not be related to a relationship between Belarus and Syria and instead be through a third party, but according to several news sources, the European dictatorship has been providing Assad with military aid since at least 2012. Whether or not these optics came in with that aid or are a more recent development should be the question. As a footnote, Belarusian optics were also spotted in Libya around 2011 as well, on the other side of the MENA region.

    In a website that I run devoted to MENA & Central Asian small arms discussion, I posted about this exact optic in use by SAA forces attacking Aleppo during 2016 back in February of this year. However, despite trying to research it, I couldn’t find out the exact nomenclature of it.

    Thanks Hrachya for providing the link to this!


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]