Mini-gun Coolness

Two Lipan Bara HMPV armed with M134D mini-guns at the farewell parade for the Army chief on Dec. 9.2016. BTDM picture.

SHAH ALAM: AS you might be aware the Army is getting more Dillon M134D mini-guns for its units. The mini guns are now arming the Army Air Wing AW109s, Lipan Bara MRAP and also possibly the upgraded Condors.

This is what Dillon – the manufacturer says about the gun.

The Dillon Aero M134D is one of the most reliable weapons in the world, given its capacity, simplicity in loading, and ease of maintenance. Designed for speed and accuracy, the M134D is a true force multiplier. The rapidity of shooting is of the utmost importance: only guns as rapid as the M134D can achieve the extreme shot density needed to suppress multiple targets in compressed periods of time. Additionally, the M134D is virtually free of recoil.

Proof of concept Condor upgrade fitted with a turret armed with a Dillon M134D mini-gun displayed at DSA 2016.

When properly mounted, it moves slightly aft with the first shot, without any tendency to pitch or yaw. This stability is vital, in that it significantly assists in the aiming on and retention of a target. High rates of fire, extremely dense shot grouping, and high weapon stability demonstrate the perfect pairing of swiftness and precision.

Najib firing the mini-gun from the PUTD AW109 helicopter in May this year. H20 Comms picture

Yes its a mouthful so we have here Ian from Forgotten Weapons to tell us all about the mini-gun with a detailed explaination about the technical aspect of the weapon.

It is a truly awe-inspiring weapon, and quite an experience to fire! In addition to destroying a truck with it, we will look at disassembly and functioning of the minigun – the delinking mechanism is really the most complex part of the weapon, and a very interesting device.

A Lipan Bara MRAP armed with a Dillon M134D mini-gun at the Army chief farewell parade on Dec 9. 2016. BTDM picture.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1179 Articles
Shah Alam

17 Comments

  1. Would the vehicles be able to carry a respectable amount of ammo to keep this beast fed? Also wouldn’t the extra ammo load affect the personnel load of infantry-carrying vehicles like the AV4 and Condors?

    IMHO even vehicles carrying medium-caliber GPMGs are usually limited to carry 400-500 rounds only. For me if you are packing miniguns, you’d probably need at the very, very least, 2000-3000 rounds. Carrying less would mean the miniguns won’t be as effective as they were meant to be.

    Reply
    Even if they could carry thousands of extra ammo, is it possible to reload especially in combat? From the video we know that it will be a slow and methodical process. That’s why combat videos from Iraq and Afghanistan showed most of the time the gunners will opt for their secondary weapons once the main gun runs out of ammo

  2. FYI the founder of Dillon Aero had just passed away a few weeks ago. Those that have dealt with him always have good things to say about his dedication to his customers, even shipping out small parts for free so that his miniguns or bullet refill machines works perfectly.

  3. The plus a minus factor at work again. A mini gun is much hungrier than a GPMG or a HMG but for sustained fire [for which any well trained gunner will control his bursts] the availability of several barrels reduces the risk of overheating. The amount of ammo that should be carried depend entirely on the circumstances : low intensity work that doesn’t call for high volumes of fire or otherwise?

    For me the interesting question is whether the army really specified the need for a mini gun or did the interest come from above?

  4. How many lipanbara’s we ordered and what was the offset included in the deal any info……..btw is our ec725 equipped to fire missiles and do we hv them??

    Reply
    18, AFAIK no offset. No, the Cougars are not equipped with missiles.

  5. I doubt if any Cougars anywhere are fitted with missiles. Even if the Cougar has been integrated with missiles; arming ours with missiles wouldn’t serve any purpose as ours are utility/rescue birds. Saudi Cougars have a 20mm gun pod and unguided rockets for self defence and light attack. Arming utility birds for self defence and light attack is fine but the danger is that by doing so they might be misused as gunships, which they’re not.

    Reply
    Brazil is arming its naval Cougars with Exocets; Airbus is also offering the HForce, an integrated solutions to arm its military helicopters for the customers, missiles are entirely to the customers preference

  6. The gun as I understand has 2 magazines and can be switched over in a manner of minutes(that is in one of their security promotional you-tubes).

  7. Pumas have long been armed/integrated with Exocets, as have Dauphins. I can see the value of arming a utility with an ASM to engage targets at sea from a distance but as I see it, arming a utility with a missile to engage surface land targets runs the risk of it being misused. Of course it depends largely on the threat level but there’s a fine line that’s easily crossed when it comes to dedicated attack, self-protection and the light attack role/armed scout role.

    Now that MD530Gs have been ordered, ideally the A-109s will not be used for the light attack role/armed scout role; their mini guns being used for self protection when hovering low over a landing zone.

  8. Mini guns are not a panacea. Like everything else they must be used in a proper manner. In protracted engagements that call for a huge volume of fire, mini guns will require a lot of ammo. Also, there will be instances where a GPMG, LMG or HMG will do they job better than a mini gun and vice versa of course. Having the firepower a mini gun provides is great but first one must locate and fix the enemy [not so easy in restricted terrain such as encountered in Lahad Dato].

    As I mentioned previously, the inetresting question is whether the army actually specified a need for mini guns or whether the decision was imposed on it. Quite a few navies are using mini guns in place of pintle mounted GPMGs/HMGs; mini guns of course being ideal if confronted with a threat that needs to be dealt with fast; such as a group of boats moving at high speed towards one’s ship.

  9. my thought is the army should get the Mk-19 instead, its like a mini mortar .. minigun isn’t bad but it requires a lots of bullets, in a heated battle it will run out of ammo much faster..and i think minigun is more effective onboard helis for fire support to ground units..
    but it is still useful though against low fly helis due to high rate of fire, scare off the enemies and mowing down trees..

  10. No matter what. In a firefight or a contact when two groups encounter each other suddenly, the phases in a firefight are:
    1) licate the enemy
    2)win the fire fight
    3)counter attack.
    It in stage two of the firefight that mini guns ate most useful especially if it involves a roadside vehicle ambush. Unleashing a torren of bullet even if it does not hit your position directly will keep most enemy heads down. It is during this lull in the battle that the commander can plan n organise his counter attack. During the counter attack, by placing the supporting fire correctly to further pin down enemy heads will enable the counter attack to succeed eith less casualties

  11. It will depend on the operational circumstances but in general the value of the mini gun will be when its properly employed in conjunction with other assets; whether in the suppression role [where sheer volume of fire comes in handy for brief moments] or if the unit in question is maneuvering. Mini guns by themselves are not a panacea; if they were then IFVs would only be armed with mini guns instead of GPMGs/HMGs and coaxial guns on MBTs would not be GPMGs but mini guns.

    In restricted terrain such as encountered during the 2nd Emergency and Lahad Dato; the main problem was finding and fixing the bad chaps [this is fact that should never be overlooked]. Once they were located; a lack of firepower was never the issue. Whilst on paper, the standard reaction to an ambush or a meeting engagement would be to lay down suppressive fire and to maneuver in order to gain tactical advantage; in reality this is easier than done and depends on several factors, namely the volume of fire being received and the terrain.

    The army has MK-19s [originally bought for Bosnia] but it’s so heavy that it has to be pintle mounted or mounted in a turret [like on the Adnan]. Like HMGs it can be mounted on a tripod but is not practical to carry around due to its weight and bulk. BIS sections have a Milkor but the operator also has to lug an M-4. In estates and jungle, aiming at low flying aircraft is often a problem due to the vegetation/foliage which gets in the way.

  12. Marhalim,

    Have you noticed that many photos of PT-91s taken recently, including those at Eks Satria Perkasa, show the stowage compartment [to the rear of the turret] completely covered by canvas/tarpaulin? Just wondering if there’s a particular reason for this. Also, do you know where the AC compressors on the PT-91 and various AFVs are mounted?

    Reply
    Yes I had noticed that. You answered your own question.

  13. Miniguns are indeed very useful in niche applications. We see them on helicopters and special operations boats, or as a last resort weapon on large vessels. The common thread is they require mountains of ammunition and in a long firefight, at some point you do without them.

    You won’t see miniguns as general issue weapons in any army in the world, because even if they can afford it, the ammunition issue makes it impractical.

    Miniguns are a form of fire support and ultimately just one of many, outside of those niche applications. I would prefer to spend the time and money on strengthening my ability to call up fire support on time and on target, which is more important than whether it comes from a mortar, HMG, AFV cannon or something else. The reality is miniguns will have to be called up, like every support weapon.

    While miniguns can contribute to some firefights, the problem will be getting them to those firefights where they will make a difference, and getting them to an advantageous position (since they are direct fire weapons). After that is how much they can contribute to long firefights before their ammunition runs out.

    As mentioned above, we won’t need them for all firefights and those fights where we have time to bring up all kinds of weapons are not those where firepower is an issue.

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