Data Sharing:  The ATK-EB Fuze.

Commonly associated with cluster munition strikes from Soviet-era (and Russian*) air-delivered dispensers, including the PTAB anti-armor and ZAB incendiary submunitions strikes that have been documented repeatedly in recent months in Syria’s civil war.  

The ATK-EB is a mechanical delay fuze, which causes a dispenser of submunitions to open during descent at a pre-set time after the dispenser’s release from an attacking aircraft. The top three images, of an ATK-EB found in Marea after the Syrian Air Force PTAB 2.5M strike there on Dec. 12, give a sense of the fuze’s markings and scale. The bottom image, from Ghouta on Dec. 19, shows how the fuze fits into the nose of an RBK dispenser

*Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, has denied that Russian-made cluster munitions have been used in Syria. The only charitable way to characterize that denial is to offer that perhaps Mr. Lavrov was engaging in misdirection by word play, as these weapons, by their date stamps, appeared to have been manufactured during the late Soviet period, and not during the period of the current, post-union Russian state. So as a matter of attribution they could be called Soviet rather than Russian. Again, that’s the charitable take. There is no question, however, of these fuzes’ (and their associated dispensers’ and submunitions’) geographic, if not political, provenance: They are all Russian-made, no matter statements otherwise from the Kremlin’s inner circle. And they have been used in Syria - over and again.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Top three, by the author. Marea, Syria. Dec. 13. Bottom image, by Karm Seif/Shaam News Network. Ghouta, Syria. Via Reuters. Dec. 19. 

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