By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
The surprising move by Libya Dawn that resulted in the conversion of several S-125 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) into surface-to-surface missiles is not the only of its kind in Libya. Indeed, initiated at roughly the same time, Libya Dawn also worked on the conversion of 2K12 SAMs for installment on a more mobile launcher. The first contraption, seen above, combines an Italian produced Puma 6x6 APC with the launch section of a Soviet designed 2K12 SAM system.
The Puma had been part of a batch of at least twenty vehicles donated by Italy to the fledgling Libyan National Army back in 2013, but has now been modified for a wholely different role by its new owners. Replacing the original tracked 2P25 launch vehicle, plenty of modifications are necessary to adapt the Puma 6x6 for its new role.
When aimed at protecting Misrata airbase, the main hub of Libya Dawn's Air Force, this 2K12 SAM conversion will undoubtedly scare away any possible aerial intruders. When faced with a real opponent however, it is unlikely that any intruder will be shot down. They do however represent the increasing number of DIY projects in Libya, and are certain not to be the last.
Libya Dawn going DIY: S-125 SAMs used as surface-to-surface missiles
Kh-29 air-to-surface missiles used as unguided rockets in Libya
The Libyan National Army going DIY: AK-230 naval guns mounted on trucks