ISIS Manufacturing Mystery Anti-Tank Rocket Launchers in Clandestine Workshops

    An ISIS dirtbag poses for a propaganda video with serially produced improvised missile launchers made in the territory controlled by the Islamic State.

    The war in Syria and Iraq has seen the development of a whole range of scratchbuilt and improvised weapons that are as ingenious as they are destructive. Recently, a kind of serially-produced rocket launcher has come to light as part of Da’ish (ISIS)┬ápropaganda, which appears to demonstrate a capability to serially produce clandestine weapons of a fairly high degree of sophistication. The weapon, a multipurpose missile launcher with a high explosive warhead, is unassuming and appears roughly equivalent to the US AT4, though cruder. It is a simple tube with almost no fittings or sights, a carrying/support handle, and a safety pin securing a fold-out firing grip.

    The production methods used to produce the new rocket launchers can be seen in another propaganda video produced by ISIS, viewable here. It appears that a pre-packaged rocket, likely military surplus from either Iraqi or Syrian arsenals, is mounted inside a tube, and then fittings applied using bolts and ties. The ammunition appears similar to fin-stabilized rocket-type munitions used in the SMAW, M72 LAW, M79 Osa, IMI B-300, and other similar weapons that have been used in the region. Given the plain external look of the cartridge as it is loaded into the tube, the ammunition may be stripped of its external fittings before converted into the new weapon.

    M79 Osa rockets without their launchers, captured from ISIS positions near Baiji. Munitions of this type could possibly be converted into the ammunition for the improvised Da’ish rocket launcher.


    Thanks to Retiv for the tip!

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]