Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Libyan National Army going DIY: AK-230 naval guns mounted on trucks



Libya under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi was once considered as one massive arms depot. In fact, the amount of weaponry in store far surpassed Libya's own needs. This allowed Gaddafi to use a part of this weaponry to supply various groups throughout the world opposing the West, or to donate it to countries in the Middle East and Africa. The donation of arms to the latter was mainly a sweetener in the hope that these counties would later support his idea for a United States of Africa, of which Gaddafi would 'of course' have been the leader.

The many arms depots found in Libya have provided the many forces now fighting for control over Libya easy access to sophisticated weaponry. The lack of spare parts and technical personnel has meant that only a portion of such heavy weaponry re-entered service however. The imposed arms embargo on Libya's internationally recognised government prevents the acquisition of large numbers of new arms and spare parts for Libya's Armed Forces. This while one of the many opposing factions, Libya Dawn, is known to receive arms from several countries in the MENA region.

This forced the Libyan National Army (LNA) to look for creative solutions to provide the required amount of firepower for its troops. And while the Libyan Conflict has seen the birth of many outright strange vehicle conversions over the years, the LNA in Benghazi took the contest to a whole new level by installing 30mm naval guns on trucks.

The first product of this limited series (seen above) combined a recently delivered Kamaz 6x6 with a double-barreled 30mm AK-230 naval gun originally found on Soviet fast attack craft, minesweepers and frigates. The AK-230's original task was to shoot down incoming missiles and aircraft while guided by a MR-104 Drum Tilt radar.

To allow for easier access to the guns and munition, the turret was removed. The two 30mm NN-30 cannons are belt-fed, with each belt holding five-hundred rounds. Reloading the two cannons is extremely time-consuming, even for an experienced crew.



The Libyan National Army is currently fighting Libya Dawn in Benghazi, where the latter is currently entrenched in the hope to hold the city. Libya Dawn was in control of most of Benghazi, but never managed to capture the port, which also serves as a base to to the Libyan Navy.

Benghazi's Naval Base was home to the Koni-class frigate 212 Al Hani, the Nanuchka-class corvette 416 Tariq-Ibn Ziyad, one of the few remaining Natya-class minesweepers and an inoperational Foxtrot-class submarine. However, the Al Hani left Benghazi a couple of years ago and the Tariq-Ibn Ziyad was set on fire by artillery and subsequently sunk.

The single Natya-class minesweeper already sunk close to a year before due a lack of maintenance, but not before it was deprived of both of its AK-230 gun emplacements, which were subsequently installed on the Kamaz and Scania trucks. The remains of the unfortunate Natya-class minesweeper can be seen below.









Both trucks are operated by the 309 Battalion, part of the Libyan National Army. The text seen on the front of the AK-230 armed Scania seen below reads: 'Board of the General Staff - The National Army K 309'.

Wether or not this design is more practical than a 23mm ZU-23 or 30mm M1980 installed on a technical remains to be seen as both can achieve more or less the same fire rate and impact on the target, but the AK-230 is far harder to aim.


With no ceasefire or end of the arms embargo on Libya's National Army in sight, more interesting conversions are sure to see the light of day as the conflict continues.

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18 comments:

  1. WTF. thats just crazy and not just the gun but what is that ridiculous armor on that truck

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    1. $5 says it's mild steel as well, unlikely to stop anything heavier than a 7.62-type round.

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    2. whatever kind of steel it is it is one ugly useless piece of junk. the truck has to be sideways for the gun to fire and there is no armor on the side of the cab. not the sharpest dyi armor

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  2. That's what you call front heavy.

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  3. Fantastic article!

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  4. Very good article!
    But the armoured vehicle not Kamaz, very likely Scania G series.

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    Replies
    1. No, the first truck is a Scania, the second is a Kamaz.

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  5. Maybe they need those guns soon. Have a news: a big shipment of weapon for the Islamists is going to reach Libya in the next 2-3 months. Wissam Ben Hammid so as Ansar al-Sharia are preparing an offensive. Expected in transport is mainly infantry equipment: 10 000 rifles, 500 Dragunovs, 20m russian and western ammo, 400 mortars with calibre range from 60mm to 120mm and ammo, around 100 D-30 howitzers and finally at least 350 PK-2C machine guns.
    All that comes from a reliable & stable supplier. An easy-to-use, dependable stuff that can be deployed quickly with loads of ammo. So it’s probably Russian, as there are no other suppliers with such capabilities. Appart from all that, up to 400 SA-18s, so noone’s gonna mess with them from the air. It’s gonna boost the Islamists a great deal.
    Sanctions? - don’t make me laugh, it’s enough to have money and contacts with the Russians. Anyway, the sanctions may be lifted soon and the Russian blockade will ensure easy supplies to those with contracts.

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    Replies
    1. No such shipment will reach Libya Dawn or Ansar al-Sharia ever, that list or Russia supplying it is pure fantasy.

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    2. and will those Iglas handle the Russian SU-27? LNA got the fighters quasi-officially from the Russinas at the beginning of the year. I heard they are already flying.

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    3. No Su-27s were delivered to Libya.

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    4. and what about these?
      http://globalaviationreport.com/2015/01/07/libyan-national-army-claims-to-have-received-four-new-sukhoi-su-27-jet-fighters/
      http://www.libyaherald.com/2015/01/06/libyan-national-army-claims-to-have-received-four-new-sukhoi-jet-fighters/#axzz3Tc5ITCcr
      http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?noframes;read=8039

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    5. Incorrect, fake, fantasy.

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  6. Can't be so sure it is fantasy. Russians sell weapons to their old friends! Grad launchers and RPGs to an-Nawfali and more officially 9P1572 armored vehicles with Khrizantema to LNA. Russian supplying capabilities are unlimited. However, it’s hard to believe in those Iglas anyway.

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    Replies
    1. Russia is actually supporting the internationally recognised government and the Libyan National Army. Libya Dawn receives weaponry from Qatar, Turkey and the Sudan.

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    2. Distant_Thunder16 March 2015 at 17:45

      Just so. Russia is not a friend of Libya Dawn, whose core is the Muslim Brotherhood. And the emergence of Daesh (AKA ISIS) in Libya has tilted Russia even more behind the lawful government of Libya.

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  7. Libya was carrying out millitant activity under gadaffi rule. now when gadaffi is dead. there is some peace in nation.

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  8. Libya was very dangerous place during the time of gadaffi rule, now it is now progressing and maintaining peace.

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