A handy PDF reference for selected miltary hardware around the world without referring to costly Jane’s military guides.
This 2001 edition of the OPFOR (Opposing Force) Worldwide Equipment Guide (414 pages) provides a overview of infantry weapons (assault rifles, sniper rifles, RPGs, etc) as well as vehicles like APCs, IFVs, tanks and other recon, anti-tank, artillery, air defense and engineer assets likely to be encountered by the US Army as either allied or enemy forces. Selected fixed-wing and rotary-wing (helicopters) aircraft are also covered to a lesser degree.
I’m very curious about this vehicle found on Page 259 – a Russian 220mm rocket launcher TOS-1 “Buratino” that can fire a salvo of 30 fuel-air explosive incendiary rockets to distance of 3500m to 6000m in 6 seconds. Reminds me of the rocket launcher unit in the classic RTS Dune 2.
Comparision with a Jane’s Guide
The coverage is by no means comprehensive unlike a Jane’s book as most of the equipment featured in this guide are those currently in service or in the inventory of Russian or ex-Warsaw Pact states.
There are very few fancy photos in this guide as the bulk of this PDF covers each weapon in a single page along with a simple lineart profile and detailed specifications of its capabilities. Jane’s Recognition Guides usually follows the same format but usually with additional info and high-resolution photos for each featured weapon. I much prefer a detailed line art profile over a photo because of I can usually pick out details from a line art more easily than from a photo.
Overall, a very handy PDF to have at hand when a casual overview of common equipment but a Jane’s guide is better for its more complete selection of equipment and more detailed information.
As of printing, this document was approved for public release (i.e declassified). Download it from the Federation of American Scientists at www.fas.org (7+ MB PDF).Armour Books Military