Old Tech, New Tech (Syria)

Is there a computer-using gunnie anywhere who has not dreamed of doing this?

Syrian rebel with remote-control StG-44
Syrian rebel with remote-control StG-44. Note the big yellow control joystick!

Yep, an old German StG-44 mounted on a set of servomotors to allow remote control movement. Complete with firing solenoid and a remote camera mounted to the scope. Not sure how truly practical it would be with a 30-round magazine, but you could certainly stick it in places you wouldn’t want to be yourself.

That photo has made the rounds of the ‘net a few months ago, but it’s still worth reposting, I think. And while searching for some related things, I happened across this other photo:

Syrian rebel using an iPad to measure mortar angle
Syrian rebel using an iPad to measure mortar angle

Yep, they are using an iPad app to determine the angle of elevation on a mortar. The cynic in me had to wonder (having seen a lot of video of AKs being sprayed from the hip and waved around with stocks folded) if these guys realized that they could have done this with a string and a weight before they realized there was an app for it. A lot of Syrian fighters sure seem to be completely ignorant of arms handling to the point that I can see them aiming entirely by guesswork and prayer.

On the other hand, an iPad app for indirect fire control is pretty cool! Here in the US, it would take all of an hour before a couple competing coders were working up versions that you could enter your shell weight, propellant charge, and wind conditions, then mark your firing location and target in Google Maps and have the system determine the precise azimuth and elevation to set.

Come to think of it, I need an app like that to plot indirect fire with my Vickers…