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Weapons Used by Hezbollah During Military Exercise in Lebanon
Hezbollah held military drills in South Lebanon on May 21, 2023. Throughout this maneuver, the group demonstrated different weapons and equipment. This article aims to describe some of their equipment and weapons.
The first that stood out was Hezbollah’s large number of 122mm launchers. These launchers differ greatly, and we can see that a variety of rocket loading capacities are used and 9M22U-pattern Grad rockets can be launched from these tubes.
In addition, at least one Rased-1 reconnaissance UAV is seen in the photos. Other notable weapons in the group's possession are various MANPADS (man-portable air-defense systems).
The first of these is the 9K310 Igla-1 (SA-16 Gimlet) MANPADS. Iranian-made TIS-S-60 thermal sights are also attached to these MANPADS (thanks to @fighterxwar on Twitter for the ID on thermal sights). The group has several Chinese QW-18 (Qianwei-18) MANPADS as well.
Another missile system in Hezbollah’s possession is the Toophan anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), the Iranian copy of the BGM-71 TOW. Iran directly transferred these weapons to Hezbollah. The group also operates the 9M133-1 Kornet-E missile. Kornet missiles are used by many countries, including Iran and Syria, so it is hardly surprising that Hezbollah has access to them.
Iran produces the “Dehlavieh" licensed copies of the Kornet-type missiles. However, when we look at the markings on the tubes used by Hezbollah, we can see that the missiles that appeared in the recent maneuver were made by Russia.
Right next to the Toophan ATGMs, there is yet another noteworthy weapon, which appears to be 105mm/106mm M40A1 recoilless rifles (also known as DIO Anti-Tank Gun 106) produced by Iran. It is also worth mentioning the 7.62x39mm AK-103 and/or Iranian KL-133 assault rifles.
Another noteworthy weapon that appears in the photos is the 40x53mm Mark 19 (Mk19) Mod 3 Automatic Grenade Launcher.
This weapon is also seen from time to time in Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Iraq. Still, it is interesting to observe its use by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
In addition to these weapons and systems installed on various vehicles, there is at least one M-46 pattern 130mm howitzer and several 23mm ZU-23-2 pattern autocannons.
It is evident that the group owns multiple Russian ORSIS SE T-5000 sniper rifles and at least one possible Mk 14 EBR-RI (Enhanced Battle Rifle - Rock Island).
Besides various firearms, Hezbollah apparently used various anti-drone guns during the exercise.
In their photographs of the exercise, Hezbollah displayed an extremely diverse and rich arsenal. Although most of the weapons here are used from time to time in many countries and conflicts in the Middle East, there were many uncommon weapons among these.