Bellingcat

Monday, 3 March 2014

Significant New Barrel Bomb And Volcano Rocket Images

A couple of interesting videos have appeared online in the last few days that provide new information on both Volcano rockets and DIY barrel bombs.  The first video was posted on February 28th, and shows a unique DIY barrel bomb drop


This video shows what appears to be the same design of DIY barrel bomb used widely across the country over the last few months, mounted on the stub wings of a Hind helicopter.  All previous examples of DIY barrel bomb drops have shown the bombs pushed out the rear of Hip transport helicopters, so to see them dropped from stub wings is a major change in how they are deployed.  It also begs the question, why is a helicopter that can carry large, powerful bombs, being used to drop DIY bombs?  When transport helicopters were being used, it seemed reasonable to assume they were dropping DIY barrel bombs to make the most of the Syrian air forces transport fleet.  Could this be an indication that bomb supplies are now running low at certain air bases?

The second video shows the launch of a Volcano rocket as part of the Yabroud Offensive


This appears to be the largest type of Volcano rocket, a type previously seen in this video from the Syrian National Defence Force, as opposed to the type based off 122mm rockets used in the August 21st attack.  What's interesting about this video is it includes the launch, flight, and impact, as well as the sound of the impact.  From the delay between seeing the impact and hearing the sound of the impact (around 8 seconds), it's possible to calculate that based on the speed of sound the distance travelled by the rocket is at least 2700m.  Due to the shaky camera movement and poor quality image, it's possible the impact occurs earlier than we can see in the video, so it's possible the range may be more than 2700m.  It's worth noting a Shia Facebook page claimed these rockets had a range of 1-3km, so this is the first evidence that the claim might be correct.

There's also this image of a Volcano rocket, taken by government forces outside the town of Zara, where they've been fighting to capture the town for the past few months


What's interesting about this picture is the tail fins of the Volcano rocket.  It appears they are swept back, and no tail ring is visible, unlike all other examples of larger Volcano rockets seen in the conflict so far.  This may be the first example of a new design of Volcano rocket being deployed by government forces.  As yet, no other information is known about this design.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff!

    Note that the large Volcano probably has a range of 4 km. Discussed in the comments here at the time: http://whoghouta.blogspot.com/2013/11/geolocating-new-umlaca-video.html

    The new fin design is very interesting. The original was very sub-optimal. Seems like they're trying to improve range a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. re: the barrel bomb on the HIND- the HIND carried rockets and multibarrel cannons under its wings. It never really had bombs per se.

    In combat helicopters do not want to have to flyover the target, ground fire can bring down the HIND. The barrel bomb needs to be targeted and it appears that the ground-fire risk is worth it to the Syrian forces to put the barrels on the targets.

    ReplyDelete