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HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyTechnical Ok.O. - Dillon Aero's Minigun-Outfitted Ford Ranger

Technical Ok.O. – Dillon Aero’s Minigun-Outfitted Ford Ranger

The time period “technical” is usually used to explain a civilian automobile — often a 4×4 pickup just like the venerable Toyota Hilux — that has been modified to hold an onboard weapon system resembling a heavy machine gun, anti-aircraft cannon, or anti-tank rocket launcher. The underlying mild, cellular weapon idea dates again far past the car to horse-drawn tachanka carts of the First World Struggle and carroballistas (primarily enormous crossbows mounted on carriages) of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, based on the ebook Technicals: Non-Customary Tactical Autos from the Nice Struggle to Fashionable Particular Forces by Leigh Neville, this descriptor originated throughout the Somali Civil Struggle within the early Nineteen Nineties, the place NGOs employed native gunmen in “Mad Max-style armed pickup vans” for cover underneath the guise of being “technical advisers.”

Editor’s Notice: This text initially appeared in Subject 64 of our sister publication Recoil journal.

As with different weapon ideas which have continued via historical past, technicals nonetheless seem in practically each fashionable battle as a result of they’re extraordinarily efficient. Not like purpose-built army autos that require specialised, costly elements and complicated upkeep routines, technicals are primarily based on autos that may be bought domestically 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 automobile is broken in fight, repairing or changing it’s a matter of tens of 1000’s of {dollars}, not a whole lot of 1000’s.

Severe Firepower

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.

Arizona-based weapon producer Dillon Aero acknowledged the deserves of the technical system, however wished to place its personal spin on it — actually. The Dillon staff 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, M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun, MK19/MK47/H&Ok GMG automated grenade launchers, the Russian PKM, and lots of others. 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 instances the speed of fireplace 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 are able to solely describe it’s as a firehose of scorching lead. If you need to use one with out grinning ear-to-ear, we are able to’t be buddies.

Above: The mattress cage was designed to accommodate overland equipment resembling these Rotopax gas canisters.

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 methods that enable for floor management of army and civilian plane. We additionally carried out overland options that enable 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 information supplied by Ford. The truck additionally options Coastal Offroad 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.

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.

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

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 gas canisters had been put in on the mattress cage.

Above: The MMC 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.

Though technicals are usually the work of “austere” mechanics and fabricators in war-torn international locations, it’s not exhausting to see why mainstream producers like Dillon Aero (and International Navy Merchandise, distributors of the Scorpion mortar truck we featured in Recoil Subject 61) are getting on board with the thought. It’s a lot simpler and cheaper to put in a weapon system on a domestically sourced civilian truck than it’s to ship a custom-built army automobile midway throughout the globe and maintain it operating. Kyle Goodale of Dillon’s Particular Initiatives skunkworks defined, “We’ve had many automobile platforms come into the store, often constructed for one goal or one other … The Ranger represents the primary undertaking of its kind for Dillon Aero, the place the Particular Initiatives division was given a clean slate to construct upon. We sit up for implementing it in our testing processes for varied weapon methods such because the 503D (.50-caliber Gatling gun) platform and having a great time with it as effectively.”

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

Dillon Aero Ford Ranger Specs

2021 Ford Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4×4

Drivetrain: 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 10-speed automated 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 gas containers

Electronics: Baja Designs Squadron Professional bumper lights and S2 Professional A-pillar lights on SDHQ brackets, sPOD HD mild/accent controller, PRC-113 radio with VRC-83 amplifier and bumper-mounted antenna, Warn winch

Proprietor & Builder: Dillon Aero Inc. Scottsdale, Arizona


Particular Thanks: Foothills Fabrication, ShrockWorks, Coastal Offroad, SDHQ Motorsports

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