MOSCOW – A new ballistic analysis system developed in Russia could revolutionize criminal investigations and help uncover war crimes. This is the ABIS PAK device, presented by the Avtomatika consortium, subsidiary of Rostec, during the Army 2019 military forum.
Ilia Danilov, one of the company’s specialists, was consulted to find out how this system works, how it differs from its global analogues and its potential contribution to the investigation of war crimes.
All weapons under control
Among the functions of the new device, called ABIS PAK, is the automated registration of firearms to control their circulation. According to Danilov, what differentiates the new system is that for this function not only textual information is used, such as the serial number of weapons.
In the case of the ABIS PAK, the traces left by each weapon on the bullets and the casings when firing are evaluated. These marks are individual for each weapon, just as people’s fingerprints are.
For this, a high-resolution ballistic scanner is used to store the images with the corresponding fingerprints in a database. Of course, this record also includes the collection of data about the weapon and its owners.
How does it work?
As explained and shown by the Avtomatika specialist, the process of analysis and registration is very simple. The cap or bullet is inserted into the ballistic scanner that stores the images and automatically detects the individual tracks that each weapon leaves on them when firing.
“The process is facilitated by the fact that the weapons factories make a control shot to collect the samples from the caps and bullets, precisely these samples are entered into the database to register the weapon,” he said.
Once the data is saved, the identification process is extremely simple : the bushing or the bullet is scanned from a crime scene and the system automatically finds the corresponding data of the weapon that fired it.
In this way, agents of the security forces can obtain evidence about suspects of a crime and substantially reduce the duration of an investigation.
Advantages of the new system
The concept of ballistic analysis itself is not new, explains Danilov, but the new system developed by the company represents a series of advantages over its analogues.
The highest definition: the ballistic scanner can analyze fingerprints of only two microns in size.
Accuracy: the accuracy of the new system is around 95%, depending on the amount of data available and the quality of samples.
All calibers: unlike its competitors, the new system can analyze absolutely all firearms with caliber up to 14.5 mm.
Price: the Russian system is much cheaper than the other analog systems available in the world market.
Advanced algorithms: one of the main differences of the new system lies in the software, whose algorithms make it possible to perform such an exhaustive analysis.
Scalability: in case it is necessary to extend the variety of weapons to be analyzed, it is not necessary to redesign the system. Simply increase the size of the components.
Precisely this last advantage presents new possibilities in the field of investigation of war crimes, says Danilov.
War crimes and poaching
According to the specialist, the issue of war crimes, where small-caliber automatic artillery and mortar mines are often involved, is very topical.
After all, there are many open investigations that until now have not been solved and this is where the new system could help.
“When terrorists launch an attack against the civilian population with this kind of artillery there are traces and traces of the shooting, which happens in any case, even if it is explosive projectiles, so the system can be adapted to investigate these crimes. The process of fingerprint formation is similar here – there are certain differences, but the fundamentals do not change,” Danilov said.
Another area of interest where the new system could be applied is the investigation of cases of poaching of animals in danger of extinction. After all, there are hunting rifles that use the caliber of 12.5 mm, which is not analyzed by other systems.