Free Syrian Army (FSA) Combat Robots [Part 1]

    After introducing several models of locally made remote-controlled weapon stations, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) realized that the time has come to upgrade their stuff.

    Aside from the magnificent Sham-R3 which can elevate from behind cover and shoot, all the RCWSs had a crucial downside which is the FIXED POSITION. So they thought about the idea of making a mobile RCWS which will be our topic today.

    Ahmed Bani-Marjeh is a volunteered Sergeant in the Free Syrian Army from Eastern Ghouta. He was mainly leading Kornet and Konkurs anti-tank missile troops in the area. Later, he became responsible for supplying the front lines with smart weapons, and he is the designer of this system.

    The trials shown in the video included only an AK-47/AKM assault rifle mounted on its left side.

    I will translate a part of his interview from Arabic to English to give you a better description from his own words.

    Please note that this video was published in April 2013.

    Interviewer: Sgt. Ahmed Bani-Marjeh, what’s the purpose behind the smart weapon you have made?

    Ahmed: This robot is similar to a miniature battle tank, it’s mainly built for dangerous tasks which are very risky for FSA fighters’ lives especially in attacking fortified buildings where Al-Assad forces hold and take defensive positions.

    Interviewer: What kind of tasks can this weapon do?

    Ahmed: We can mount any type of assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, and anti-armor weapons as it can accurately hit the required targets.

    Interviewer: What other products have you made?

    Ahmed: I’m currently working on an anti-aircraft robot but it’s not yet finished and once we are done it will be directly supplied to FSA fighters.

    After watching the video we can easily state the advantages and disadvantages of the device.

    Despite the brilliant design of this device, the mounted firearm lacks a solid fixation to stabilize it on the device because the weapon keeps wobbling at each shot. But this is a minor issue and can be solved later in the serial production by adding some solid hardware to keep the weapon as a part of the whole system.

    The advantages are way more than that because the RCWS can move and maneuver in dangerous areas especially in urban war environment which could save lots of lives (from the operating side, of course). And even the control wire which some might think that it’s non-practical in combat (and yes, they might be correct) but in situations of electronic disruption of wireless devices’ waves, this could be the ideal solution in crucial combat situations, specifically close quarters combats in cities.

    Finally, the device is still poorly made but can be very effective and gives an effective tactical advantage against a superior opponent.


    Marawan Maklad

    Marawan Maklad is an Egyptian firearms and ammunition designer working for Turkish company specializing in the hunting and defense industries, and a dedicated researcher in asymmetric conflicts arms and tactics.