Syria’s rebels may have taken the concept of a videogame a tad too far. A homemade rebel tank has recently been seen rolling down the road like a post-apocalyptic battle wagon — and armed with a machine gun controlled like it’s a PlayStation.
The Sham II — reportedly so named after ancient Syria — is also ready to be added to the rebels’growing arsenal of DIY weapons. According to the AFP, a rebel engineer based near the city of Aleppo spent a month building the armored vehicle around a re-purposed car chassis, added cameras to it, and then hooked up a machine gun to a PlayStation controller and a TV screen inside. Four meters long and two meters wide, the vehicle is now readying to “join the fray in Aleppo as part of the Saad Benmoaz battalion of the Al-Ansar brigade.”
It’s the gun that makes it into a proper fighting vehicle, if on the crude side. The machine gun appears to be a 7.62 millimeter PKM with a camera hooked onto it. This gun and its camera are also controlled by a game controller from inside the truck. The driver, meanwhile, has a TV screen linked to three cameras mounted to Sham II’s front with a fourth camera in the back. Protecting both the driver and gunner are 2.5 centimeters of steel plating, which can’t resist rounds from tanks or rocket-propelled grenades but is reportedly able to withstand fire from a 23-millimeter cannon.
“Not including from the gun, the vehicle costs about $10,000,” a rebel named Abud, whose brother built the vehicle, told the AFP.
Only time will tell if Assad’s forces will begin to equip themselves with Xbox-controlled Molotov cocktails. Read the whole thing at Wired’s Danger Room.