First, let me be clear that I am not an expert on the weapons manufactured or used by the Indian Army or any other army. When a commenter posted a link to the photo above, which shows what the Pakistani military claims to be Indian mortars captured during operations in South Waziristan as evidence of Indian support for the Taliban, I knew that the readers of this site could shed some light on the issue. I wasn’t disappointed; several knowledgeable readers pointed out that the Indian Army doesn’t use 82mm mortars at all, not to mention those pictured. Here is one comment, from reader Render, explaining it (read the comments at this post, “Let’s blame India, again”):
1: The tank shell on the left is a Chinese 105mm armor piercing round. The Chinese lettering is a give away.
2: The Indian Army does not use 82mm mortars. Like the Pakistani Army, the Indian Army uses 81mm mortars on the UK/US pattern. Pakistani Ordnance Factories also does not produce 82mm mortar ammo. Those 82mm mortar rounds are fairly distinctive. Most Comblock/WARPAC 82mm mortar ammo has grooves around or just below the thickest part of the body, the rounds in the photo are smooth. 81mm mortar rounds manufactured by POF are smooth bodied and share the distinctive fuse and tail assemblies seen in those photos. As seen here…
Apparently the Indians don’t even manufacture 81mm mortars, which are the type shown in the photos but labeled to appear as 82mm mortars.
Another important point: The discovery of weapons from a given country does not necessarily mean that country is supplying said weapons. The region is awash in weapons left over from a century of wars.
In the case of Iranian weapons found in Iraq, for example, no one should have been surprised that Iranian weapons dealers were selling arms in a neighboring country where a war is ongoing. The weapons alone weren’t convincing. What proved Iranian support was that Qods Force commanders and operatives, weapons smugglers, Mahdi Army and Special Groups trainers and operatives, and even a senior Hezbollah (the Lebanese version) commander were captured and confirmed that a directed operation was underway. The presence of large quantities of Iranian-made weapons, clearly marked with Iranian markings and with very recent lot dates, as well as sophisticated, machined EFPs, corroborated what was known from the interrogations of the Iranians.
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