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Dillon Aero’s Minigun-Outfitted Ford Ranger

The time period “technical” is commonly used to explain a civilian car — often a 4×4 pickup just like the venerable Toyota Hilux — that has been modified to hold an onboard weapon system comparable to a heavy machine gun, anti-aircraft cannon, or anti-tank rocket launcher. The underlying gentle, cellular weapon idea dates again far past the auto to horse-drawn tachanka carts of the First World Conflict and carroballistas (primarily enormous crossbows mounted on carriages) of the Roman Empire.

Nonetheless, in response to the e book Technicals: Non-Normal Tactical Automobiles from the Nice Conflict to Trendy Particular Forces by Leigh Neville, this descriptor originated throughout the Somali Civil Conflict within the early Nineties, the place NGOs employed native gunmen in “Mad Max-style armed pickup vehicles” for defense below the guise of being “technical advisers.”

Side profile of a ford ranger with a Dillon Aero minigun mounted to the top.

2021 Ford Ranger XLT Supercrew 4X4

  • Drive Practice: 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 10-speed computerized transmission
  • Suspension: Fox Efficiency Elite Sequence 2.5 distant reservoir coilover shocks
  • Armament: Dillon Aero MMC turret system geared up with Dillon Aero M134D Minigun and Trijicon MGRS sight
  • Wheels & Tires: 17-inch Fifteen52 Turbomac HD wheels, 285/70R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires
  • Physique Modifications: Dillon Aero {custom} mattress cage, Coastal Offroad entrance/rear bumpers and skid plate, ShrockWorks rock sliders, Prinsu roof rack, Roam Journey Co. awning, Rotopax gasoline containers
  • Electronics: Baja Designs Squadron Professional bumper lights and S2 Professional A-pillar lights on SDHQ brackets, sPOD HD gentle/accent controller, PRC-113 radio with VRC-83 amplifier and bumper-mounted antenna, Warn winch
  • Lighting & Electronics: Twin AGM home batteries, two 100W SunWare photo voltaic panels, Victron Vitality 2,000W energy inverter, Alpine Halo 11-inch head unit/navigation, Simarine PICO touchscreen info panel, two Dometic fridges, LED camper lighting with cost ports, Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum winch with Issue 55 fairlead and FlatLink E, Baja Designs S1 bumper lights and LP9 Professional driving lights, KC Hilites Cyclone rock lights
  • Proprietor & Builder: Dillon Aero Inc. Scottsdale, Arizona
  • URL:
  • Particular Thanks: Foothills Fabrication, ShrockWorks, Coastal Offroad, SDHQ Motorsports

As with different weapon ideas which have continued by historical past, technicals nonetheless seem in almost each trendy battle as a result of they’re extraordinarily efficient. Not like purpose-built navy automobiles that require specialised, costly elements and sophisticated upkeep routines, technicals are based mostly on automobiles that may be bought regionally and serviced at any Jiffy Lube (or its third-world equal). Their weapon parts are bolted or welded in place, to allow them to simply as simply be eliminated and exchanged. And if the car is broken in fight, repairing or changing it’s a matter of tens of hundreds of {dollars}, not a whole bunch of hundreds.

Side profile of a ford ranger mounted with a Dillon Aero minigun as viewed from the rear.

Above: The mattress cage was designed to accommodate overland equipment comparable to these Rotopax gasoline canisters.

Arizona-based weapon producer Dillon Aero acknowledged the deserves of the technical system, however needed to place its personal spin on it — actually. The Dillon crew bought this 2021 Ford Ranger and geared up it with the corporate’s Multi-Mission Succesful (MMC) system, which is a modular, power-operated turret that may settle for all kinds of weapons. The compatibility checklist consists of M240 and M60 medium machine weapons, an M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun, MK19/MK47/H&Okay GMG computerized grenade launchers, the Russian PKM, and lots of others.

The upgraded suspension on a Ford Ranger.

Above: Fox coilovers with remote-reservoir shocks permit this Ranger to deal with washboard desert roads easily at pace.

However this truck options the cream of the crop — Dillon Aero’s M134D minigun, which doles out a staggering 3,000 rounds of seven.62 NATO per minute. That’s 50 rounds per second, or about 4 occasions the speed of fireside of an M240. Whereas taking images for this text, we had the chance to ship some rounds downrange with the M134D within the MMC turret, and we will solely describe it’s as a firehose of sizzling lead. If you should use one with out grinning ear-to-ear, we will’t be associates.

Photo of the antenna mount on the back of a Ford Ranger.

Above: This high-clearance Coastal Offroad rear bumper features a swing-out with a full-size spare tire, trash bag, and antenna mount.

As cool because the minigun is, there’s extra to this truck than its armament. A consultant instructed us, “The Dillon Aero Ford Ranger goes a step additional with the engineering effort to mount field-deployable communication techniques that permit for floor management of navy and civilian plane. We additionally applied overland options that permit for prolonged functionality in varied mission settings.” Essentially the most noticeable improve is a one-of-a-kind {custom} mattress cage that helps the MMC system; Dillon engineers designed and prototyped it utilizing CAD recordsdata offered by Ford.

The truck additionally options Coastal Off-road entrance and rear bumper sheetmetal kits, which had been welded and completed in-house. The entrance bumper incorporates 4 Baja Designs LED lights and a Warn winch; the rear bumper has a swing-out spare tire service and antenna mount. That antenna is related to a Mil-spec PRC-113 VHF/UHF radio that sits atop the truck’s sprint.

Photo of the center console of an upgraded Ford Ranger.

Above: A Mil-spec PRC-113 radio provides communication capabilities to this truck. To save lots of area on the sprint, its cumbersome amplifier was relocated to the ground behind the middle console.

For improved off-road functionality, the Ranger was geared up with ShrockWorks rock sliders, a Coastal Off-road skid plate, Fox remote-reservoir shocks, 17-inch Fifteen52 wheels, and 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. Moreover, a Roam Journey Co. awning was bolted onto the Prinsu roof rack, and Rotopax gasoline canisters had been put in on the mattress cage.

A pile of spent brass casings on the ground after Dillon Aero's minigun sent rounds down range.

Above: The Dillon Aero MMC turret system constructed into this tradition mattress cage helps the operator preserve management of the M134D because it spews a near-continuous beam of rounds downrange. This weapon produces a substantial pile of spent brass and belt hyperlinks after just a few quick bursts.

Though technicals are usually the work of “austere” mechanics and fabricators in war-torn nations, it’s not exhausting to see why mainstream producers like Dillon Aero (and World Army Merchandise, distributors of the Scorpion mortar truck featured in Difficulty 61 of our sister publication RECOIL) are getting on board with the concept. It’s a lot simpler and less expensive to put in a weapon system on a regionally sourced civilian truck than it’s to ship a custom-built navy car midway throughout the globe and hold it working.

Photo of a man shooting a Dillon Aero minigun mounted to the top of a ford ranger.

Above: The turret accepts a wide range of weapons, together with heavy machine weapons and grenade launchers, however this Ranger is provided with Dillon’s personal M134D Minigun. We’re instructed additionally they have plans to strive it with the .50-caliber 503D Gatling gun within the close to future.

Kyle Goodale of Dillon’s Particular Initiatives skunkworks defined, “We’ve had many car platforms come into the store, often constructed for one function or one other … The Ranger represents the primary mission of its kind for Dillon Aero, the place the Particular Initiatives division was given a clean slate to construct upon. We look ahead to implementing it in our testing processes for varied weapon techniques such because the 503D (.50-caliber Gatling gun) platform and having an excellent time with it as nicely.”

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Editor’s Word: This text has been modified from its unique model for the net.

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