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Rebel Tech: Four Wheelers and Rockets

by John Reed on July 10, 2011

Happy weekend everybody. Check out these pics of what appears to be the latest in Libyan rebel weaponeering; a four-wheel ATV chassis with four rocket launchers mounted on top. At first glance, I was hoping this was a remotely controlled weapon system like these, but after looking at the image closely, I can’t see anything that looks like a power plant for the chassis. However, the last picture in the collection shows what might be a remote launching device for the rocket quad. Let’s hope they’ve put an engine on it since the pictures were taken.

While this may not be a shining example of engineering, it’s a small example of the passion and dedication a lot of these rebels are putting into fighting against a despised ruler. This video showing a rebel re-powdering ancient rifle ammunition with powder taken from kids cap guns is another small example of the rebels’ determination.

 

 

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

blight July 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

This sounds like psypher's comment in the "Afghan IED" thread.

"…meaning they got MLRS from a certain country :-)"

To the right of picture one looks like a nose cone, which might suggest Soviet helicopter rocket pods are a source of their rockets? Then again, those nose cone rockets seem smaller than the one he's holding in his hand; which looks like a S-5 rocket:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-5_rocket

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Could be the S-5 rocket: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-5_rocket

However, I think the S-5s were all launched in those rocket pod arrangements, and not individually as presented here.

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Brian Black July 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

The Libyans sure do love tinkering in their garages.

I imagine that the world’s next greatest can’t-do-without invention is probably sat in some Libyan guy’s shed right this minute. I don’t know what it is, but I want one.

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Boofa July 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Theres actually 5 tubes too ;)

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Forrest Cantrell July 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I love these guys.

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bubba birner July 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

welli dont know about you but it looks like there is 5 not 4 tubes and wow they really know how to get the most use out of there old parts its like Mcgyver as a group

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blight2 July 11, 2011 at 9:17 am

I would definitely call it improvised, but not to the extent of Mcgyver, who would probably build missile tubes out of PVC from Home Depot, and make his own explosives, and build the launch vehicle from two bicycle frames, and…you get the idea.

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SJE July 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

Why put an engine on it? Gas is in very short supply for the rebels, so an engine could be just another dead weight.

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blight2 July 11, 2011 at 10:20 am

I don't see an engine. I see a wheel in the rear that looks like it might be for traverse?

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anon July 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

There appears to be some sort of hitch on the back – perhaps it is designed to be towed by one of those tonka-toy quad bikes in the background?

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blight2 July 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

What confuses me about those quad bikes in the background is that they seem to have smaller tires and lack suspension. Why is the rocket launcher better suited to off-roading than its thoretical primary mover?

Alternatively, it was abandoned (hence the rust) and repurposed as the original vehicle wasn't driveable?

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SJE July 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

I know. The article says ". Let’s hope they’ve put an engine on it since the pictures were taken" My point is that an engine is more of a hassle at times.

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blight2 July 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Ah. You are correct in the engine being a logistical hurdle, but you need motorization if you want to succeed in the desert. One could design a portable system to be carried portee by trucks, or transported by pack animals (or even by humans dragging it along). The NVA used bicycle portee to move 400 pound loads, so it's not infeasible to go engineless-just tedious, and potentially dangerous.

The bigger hurdle is probably going to be steady resupply of ammunition.

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SJE July 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I agree that PORTABILITY is important (not necessarily motorized), and less so for defensive positions. Bikes are very adaptable, and do fine on roads and rough terrain. Of road in Libya would be problem because they are not so good in sand. The NVA did have to deal with mud, but also had a lot of beaten down paths which are great for bicycles. Sand dunes etc are a whole different problem.

I have heard that people in Tripoli are all getting bikes because of the gas shortage.

AT4 July 11, 2011 at 11:24 am

Regarding the field expedient rifle cartridge reloading video. That makes using a single stage press here at home look totally efficient and safe. Glad I have a 1970's era powder scale and measure.

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JSCS July 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

The fellow in the vid appears to be re=priming Carcano ammo….use what ya got I guess

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Boofa July 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

If they didn't shoot so much of it into the air he wouldn't need to do it.

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Lance July 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Not really new weve been playing with such weapons for decades. BUT the problems are clear they are way to valnerable to rifle fire.

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blight July 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

This isn't meant to be used as a direct-fire piece. More likely than not, they'll dig a pit for it, and if push comes to shove it can be hitched up and driven away before overrun or capture. I don't see any digging spades or whatnot to properly brace the thing during firing, which contributes to bad precision. It'll work as a psychological weapon, or for indiscriminate bombardment against a base or a city.

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Vstress July 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm

While it's a fairly nifty thing… it just shows that even a guy who has kids toys lying about can do with a few tools. A bit scary and shows that not much goes a long way with people who have determination (both to aide our causes and not).

I wish him luck that the rockets don't hang-fire in the tubes!!! That thing would go mental.

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John July 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Interesting photos from the Libyan rebels weapon lab / day care center.

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Yeah, I saw that and thought of the Hind's rocket pods. I had to dig for a bit before finding something close. Thanks for pulling the appropriate rocket though.

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Didn't the NLF fire rockets out of bamboo tubes into airbases?

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Blah, I was thinking of something else. Retract.

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

http://www.williammaloney.com/Aviation/WestPointM

Not bamboo, but not sure about the identity of the rocket launcher. It looks kind of like a recoiless rocket launcher, but 60mm makes me think mortar.

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blight2 July 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Being a winter guy in Minnesota, Surly makes the Pugsley, which has stupendously wide tires to reduce ground pressure. Not sure how they'd do transporting stuff on sand dunes.

I'm only advocating motorized systems because the distance from city to city is high, and not having speed will put them on the back foot against Gaddafi's armored forces, especially if he still has fuel reserves.

The other perk of eschewing motors is that motors can be noisy, and if you want to move equipment at night…

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