Syrian rebels unveil 'Mad Max-style' home-built tank controlled by gamepad from a Sony Playstation
Scrapyard vehicle built on the chassis of an old diesel carFeatures five cameras and a remotely controlled machine gunNow heading towards flashpoint city of Aleppo to join rebel offensive
18:09 GMT, 10 December 2012
It may look like something out of a Mad Max movie, but this home-built tank is the latest weapon in the Syrian rebels' desperate fight against the brutal regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Sham II, which was cobbled together from the chassis of an old diesel car and parts salvaged from a junkyard in under a month, uses a controller from a Sony Playstation games console to aim a roof-mounted machine gun.
Inside the rusting steel panels a crew of two sit side-by-side in front of flatscreen TV's mounted on the wall.
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Heavy metal: Syrian rebels have built a makeshift tank from an old car and parts from a junkyard to take on government forces in the flashpoint city of Aleppo
The makeshift vehicle is now heading towards the city of Aleppo to join the rebel offensive where it could encounter fearsome T-72 tanks used by the Assad regime.
And while the Sham II would be hopelessly outclassed if it came face-to-face with one of the Russian-built T72s, it does still have a few tricks up its sleeve.
The fully-enclosed vehicle is made from light steel is about four metres in length and two metres across, mounted with a 7.62 mm machinegun controlled from inside the cabin.
No game: Inside the Sham II a rebel fighter uses a control stick from a Sony PS3 games console to activate the tank's machine gun
Brothers in arms: The driver and gunner sit side by side inside the makeshift vehicle which cost an estimated $10,000 to put together
The Sham II is equipped with five cameras: three at the front, one in the back and another attached to the gun
It has five cameras: three at the front, one in the back and another attached to the gun.
The crew inside the cabin are fully protected, with the driver maneuvering the vehicle by watching a screen which displays video from the cameras.
The gunner, seated next to the driver, can activate the machinegun by watching another screen and using the gamepad equipped with push buttons.
The metal walls are 2.5 centimetres thick
and said to be able to resist up to 23 mm cannon fire. The vehicle,
however, can not withstand a rocket-propelled grenade or tank fire.
The Sham II is reportedly en-route to Aleppo to join the rebel offensive in the flash-point city
'This is my brother, a trained engineer, who got the idea. We got a car, left its diesel motor on the chassis and built the engine,' says Abud, based in a rebel command centre in Bishqatin, near the flashpoint city of Aleppo.
'Not including from the gun, the vehicle costs about $10,000,' he said.
Sham II, as the name suggests, is an enhanced version of its predecessor. The earlier model shielded the driver but the rest of the crew were exposed to enemy fire.
FACE TO FACE: HOW THE SHAM II COMPARES TO SYRIAN ARMY'S MAIN TANK
Rebel Forces – Sham II
BUILT: A scrapyard somewhere in rebel-held Syria
FIREPOWER: Single machine gun controlled via a mounted camera and Sony PS3 games console controller
ARMOUR: 2.5cm thick sheeting said to be able to resist up to 23 mm cannon fire
TOP SPEED: n/a
Syrian Army T72 main battle tank
COST: $2 million
BUILT: Uralvagonzavod arms company in Nizhny Tagil, Russia
FIREPOWER: 125 mm main gun with a 7.62 mm PKT coax machine gun and12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun
ARMOUR: Steel and composite shielding up to 11 inches thick
TOP SPEED: 68kmh
VIDEO: See the Sham II homemade tank in action…
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