• The rising influence of Russian special forces

    Increased defence spending under Russian president Vladimir Putin has led to a resurgence in the Spetsnaz special forces. Mark Galeotti explains how these elite forces work and why they are at the forefront of Moscow's new non-linear military doctrine.
  • Planning for North Korea after Kim Jong-un

    The health of Kim Jong-un could have a profound impact on North Korea's political stability given that no succession plan is in place. Neil Ashdown assesses three scenarios under which the nation would manage the transition of power from its supreme leader.
  • Looming unrest - Kosovo faces continued instability

    Political deadlock, coupled with economic uncertainties and poor infrastructure, have amplified public distrust in the Kosovan government. Dijedon Imeri analyses the deepening civil discontent and its ramifications for the country's stability.
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  • US says 'serious questions' remain over Syrian CW

    The United States has made the strongest indication to date that Syria may have withheld some of its chemical weapons on 18 August, when it said there are still "serious questions" about its declaration to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The White House


  • Type 79/85 7.62 mm self-loading sniper rifles

    Development The Type 79 self-loading sniper rifle is a direct copy of the Russian SVD Dragunov. A later variant, the Type 85 appears indistinguishable from the earlier Type 79 and the former is thought to have only minor cosmetic component changes to ease production. Description Both models of

  • OFB INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifle system

    Development The Indian Small-Arms System (INSAS) rifle is one component in a planned family of weapons who would share a similar design base. The other components of the family are a light machine gun (see separate entry) and a carbine/short assault rifle. Developed since the mid-1980s under the

  • Knight's Armament Company 5.56 mm Modular Weapon System

    Development In August 1995, the Knight's Armament Company (KAC) announced a US government contract award to produce a rail interface system (RIS) for the US Special Operation COMmand (USSOCOM) Modular Weapon System (MWS) requirement. The contract called for applications with USSOCOM 5.56 mm M4A1

  • M2 5.56 mm M16 specialty carbines

    Development Military Manufacturing (M2) has produced a range of extremely compact modified M16-type weapons for special-operations use with police and military forces. Although the company has also marketed a range of standard-size M16 rifles, its primarily focuses on special-operations weapons.