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17.4.2021 : 23:30 : +0200

New trend analysis of global MANPADS proliferation

A new map created by the United States MANPADS Task Force and the Small Arms Survey illustrates the threat to commercial aviation posed by the illicit proliferation and use of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS).

The map shows documented incidents of illicit possession and transfers of MANPADS and their components from 2008 through mid-2019, as well as MANPADS attacks on commercial aircraft from 1973 to 2019.  The data on illicit possession and transfers was compiled by Small Arms Survey from a variety of sources, including information provided by HALO Trust and Conflict Armament Research. The data on attacks on civilian aircraft was compiled by the RAND Corporation.

The term ‘illicit possession’ refers to the physical possession of MANPADS by armed groups and other non-governmental entities, with the exception of those specifically authorized to act on behalf of government end users. ‘Illicit transfers’ refers to illicit exports or other transfers of MANPADS or their components from one end-user to another end-user. Transfers involve both a change in physical possession and a change of ownership. The movement of MANPADS from one location to another by the same end-user is not considered a ‘transfer.’

The map only reflects data on illicit possession and transfers that meet two main criteria. First, the source of the data must include at least one image (photo or video) of clearly identifiable MANPADS or components. This requirement does not apply to intangible transfers, such as training in the maintenance, operation, or production of MANPADS. Secondly, the data must originate from one of the following sources: a government entity, a UN panel of experts, or a reputable journalist or private researcher deployed or otherwise physically located in the location where the transfer took place or possession was documented. 

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