Russia Is Eyeing A Minigun Ammo Backpack Straight Out Of 'Predator'

Military Tech

Images have been circulating on Twitter of a Russian Spetsnaz soldier apparently testing out a PKM heavy machine gun with an unusual ammunition-feeding backpack that bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesse Ventura's alien-perforating minigun from Predator. The backpack, known as the Scorpio, is a product of Front Tactical Systems — and according to The Firearm Blog, it was designed at the request of the Russian military as a method of increasing machine gun efficiency.


The United States previously developed a similar system when the inventive U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski threw together a backpack-fed machine gun on the battlefield during a firefight with the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard in Afghanistan in October 2011, citing the M-134 backpack-fed minigun touted by Ventura's Sgt. Blain Cooper in the 1987 action classic.

Jesse Ventura in 'Predator'20th Century Fox

Eventually, Army Research and Development Command took on Winkowski's DIY system and fleshed it out from its humble roots as a ALICE pack modified with ammo cans and a MOLLE to the so-called 'IronMan' system (not to be confused with the much-hyped TALOS 'Iron Man' suit that U.S. Special Operations Command is looking to test by 2019). The system was under evaluation by the Army for over two years before they decided to purchase a small number; sadly, information has been scarce since 2014 (UPDATE BELOW).

The "Ironman" ammo-carriage system resulted from the innovative thinking of Iowa National Guardsmen serving in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Iowa National Guard)1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Iowa NG

Russian special operators must have been watching the U.S. Army tests from afar with jealousy, because the Scorpio is a much lighter-looking, more professionally-made version of the Army's IronMan. The sporty looking pack has a sweet looking belt system designed to not jam despite heavy movement.

Both systems are spiritually related to that devastating stripped-down mini-gun that Ventura hauled through an unnamed jungle in Predator. It is also worth noting that Arnold Schwarzenegger, though restricted to paltry carbines and sharpened sticks in Predator, rocked a similar system in Terminator 2: Judgement Day as an effective anti-aircraft weapon.

Prior to, and after the demise of the Army designed IronMan system, commercial versions to popped up to fill the needs of special operations forces and contractors. The U.S. version of the backpack-belt fed machine gun accessory has since evolved into several off the shelf options, most notably the Huron™ MICO - Machine Gunners Assault Pack, but it hasn't seen broad use in the U.S. military, likely due to the $4,000 price tag.

By contrast, you can buy a Russian Scorpio backpack today for 65,800 rubles, or roughly $1,000. Unfortunately, the MICO is a government only item, and the National Firearms Act could rain on your parade if you try to import a Scorpio stateside. One final problem could rain on your minigun parade; the system is designed to work with the PKM machine gun, which is a rather hard find in the American inventory — unless you are playing OpFor, that is.

UPDATE:

After being contacted by a source close to the situation, it was alleged that the Russia did knock off the MICO pack made by Tyr Tactical. In an odd spy scenario, a MICO pack that was modified for use with PKM machine gun was used on the show 'Sons of Guns'. During this period a Russian national allegedly got a hold of one of the packs and copied it down to the seams.

Also as mentioned above, information on the Ironman system became scarce after 2014. According to the source of the above information, this system was both designed after the MICO, making it unneeded, and it was also a worse product, with the 700 plus that were purchased eventually being decommissioned.

A enlisted thinktank brought to you by Task & Purpose

WATCH NEXT:

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.

In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.

Read More Show Less

KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.

The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.

Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.

The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.

In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea

Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.

The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.

Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."

Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.

Read More Show Less
Todd Rosenberg/AP

A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.

The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.

Read More Show Less