SHAH ALAM: As part of the Latihan Kuasa Tembakan/Firepower Exercise (LKT) 2023 at Kem Sirajuddin in Gemas on July 18, the Army showed how it will tackle drones in operations when its air defence units were not available. Something that will happen frequently as its air defence units are small and sparsely equipped.
The demonstration showed that the Army intend to fire on drones with any weapon available from the M4 Carbines, FN Minimi and FN MAG light machine guns as well as the M2 .50 calibre machine gun and the M134D Gatling gun. For the demo only the machine guns were employed though. The M2 machine gun and the M134 Gatling gun were mounted on the Vamtac gun carrier and the Lipan Bara armoured vehicles, respectively.
To be honest, they should rely on the vehicle mounted guns only for the demonstration. The problem with using the Minimi and MAG light machine guns against drones are that they are almost impossible to control when firing fully automatic from the shoulder ( of course in real operations soldiers are expected to fire at the enemy drones with what-ever weapons on hand). Furthermore, at the demo, the troops are not equipped with the dedicated anti-aircraft/drone tripods which the air defence troops have, which at least give shooters a stable platform to fire from.
At LKT 2023, MAG users – two soldiers each – fired from their weapons off the shoulder of one of them (as shown from the main picture). The Minimi shooters, also two teams of two soldiers fired their weapons fired from the knees.
From the video footage of the firing, it is unclear whether the drone, painted bright orange was hit before it crashed into the ground. It was trailing red smoke before the crash probably to indicate it was hit. You can watch the video below and make up your mind.
The anti-aircraft/drone tripod was demonstrated by the Army during the Panah Jaguh Exercise in 2022. Perhaps, the Army was showing their current anti-drone capability to the powers-that-be so they could get the allocation for the proper equipment to deal with the menace.
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