Thousands of Chinese Type 56 assault rifles, hundreds of PKM machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launchers together with dozens of advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles were found and interdicted on a stateless dhow in the North Arabian Sea. The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey, part of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, intercepted the boat and discovered the cargo during a routine boarding.
Below you can see an SH-60 Seahawk helicopter hovering above the stateless dhow interdicted with a shipment of illicit weapons, likely headed for Yemen. This happened in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7.
On the deck can be seen hundreds of 7.62x39mm Type 56 rifles originating from China along with 7.62x54Rmm PKM general purpose light machine guns and SVD-pattern DMRs.
According to a tweet from the U.S. 5th Fleet there were also “advanced optical sights” in the shipment, though these are not pictured.
Laid out on the deck of @USSMonterey
Cache of seized weapons included: dozens of advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles; 1000s of Chinese Type 56 assault rifles; 100s of PKM machine guns, sniper rifles & rocket-propelled grenades launchers. Plus advanced optical sights pic.twitter.com/U00EB74XEf
— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) May 8, 2021
Below is a short video from the USS Monterey showing the weapons on deck. (Video by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chelsea Palmer).
Here are some stills from the video, giving us a closer look at some of the weapons seized in the shipment.
Which firearms can you identify? It looks like we have quite a few Iranian AM50 anti-materiel rifles in there as well. This is enough to equip a smaller army, but I guess the ammunition is on another route.
The U.S. Navy said that the arms are now in US custody and their source and intended destination is under investigation.