A pickup truck-mounted with a 12-tube multiple rocket launcher system (MLRS), likely looted from the neighbouring Niger Republic, has appeared in a new ISWAP propaganda media.
The video shared on Saturday, July 24, 2021 included the pickup truck in what appeared to be Nigerien military camouflage mounted with the type 63 107mm MLRS and other gun trucks fitted with double-barrel ZPU-2, W85 and NSV heavy machine guns.
Commenting on the ISWAP video, Calibre Obscura (@CalibreObscura), a weapon researcher and analyst, tweeted that “There is a short section showing fighting against the NA (mostly), showing the use of artillery rockets, namely 107mm Type 63-2 and 122mm 9M22U “Grad”.”
The weapons expert added that “This capability isn’t well covered with the group; the expertise exists, but it depends on their ability to capture material.”
The video showed multiple gun trucks and members of the terror group with regular small arms and one fighter with a shoulder-fired SPG-9 Recoilless gun.
In June, the Nigerian military recovered AK pattern rifles, an FN MAG machine, a type 85 heavy machine gun, and SPG-9 mounted on a truck.
The 107mm MLRS is rare and often seen in weapons captured by the group after raids in Niger’s Diffa region.
Similarly, in Jan. 2018, ISWAP displayed gun trucks and a type 63 MLRS captured in an attack on Nigerien forces in Toumour, Diffa region.
In 2017, a photograph appeared online showing a type 63 107mm MLRS captured from insurgents, who in turn seized it from Nigerien forces.
The employment of both 107mm and 122mm rockets by the group depends largely on their ability to capture stockpiles from national forces in the region.
In April 2020, ISWAP shared a picture of a pickup truck fitted with a four-tube 122mm Grad rocket launcher.
The first known incident associated with the “Grad” rockets was in Feb. 2019, when ISWAP targeted Maiduguri, Borno State capital, Northeast Nigeria.
Another incident was recorded in March as ISWAP fired at the Diffa Airport in Niger Republic, used for air operations.
Both attacks involved a crude methodology of launching the 122mm Grad rockets, which are usually found on BM-21 and RM-70 MLRS in the stock of the Nigerian Army.
Identifying, destroying or preventing loss of rockets and weapon systems is vital to diminish the threat these rockets could pose to security forces, civilians and public facilities.
In early July 2021, ISWAP reported it fired multiple rockets towards the Diffa Airport in the southeastern Niger Republic, near the border with Nigeria.
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