By Dan Shea
Move over Hummer and make way for… The Raptor
Imagine if you will, a scene outside a small city in the Middle East. An important political figure is traveling with a convoy, and suddenly an ambush occurs. As the firefight starts, a call is made to the quick response team. Traveling at speeds of up to 140 mph, the commander organizes an ambush breaking action, and deploys his six vehicles in a pattern to break the back of the attacking force. He has two mini-gun armed, two M2HB armed, and two MK19 40mm armed vehicles. On command they engage the ambush positions, and with their incredible firepower, neutralize the attackers. The remaining ambushers are headed out of the area at high speed, but they are hotly pursued by several of the Raptors.
There is a definite need for a fast reaction, high firepower vehicle in executive protection or “problem” interdiction. Arms Tech Ltd, of Phoenix, Arizona has put together a working group that has produced this amazing metamorphosis of a GM Suburban. They have already successfully obtained contracts for about twenty vehicles, with either mini-guns or shortened M2HB .50 caliber machine guns.
Arms Tech’s theory of response utilizing the Raptor is setting up the customer with a team of the vehicles, much like an APC patrol. There is a commander of the group, then each vehicle is in radio contact with the commander, and each vehicle has a commander, a driver, a gunner, an assistant gunner, and two soldiers.
The mount keeps the gun in a ready position down in the passenger section of the vehicle. A sliding cover is on top of the gun section. As the commander of the vehicle calls for action, the gunner throws the cover back, pulls the contact lever and the mount is free to move up and above the vehicle. The gunner can not fire the minigun unless the commander has allowed the action, via a series of safety switches under his control. Another “Motivator” is that this customer keeps his vehicles un-armored so that his soldiers will fight and move, not sit behind armor plate.
Once the decision to fire has been made, the mini-gun operator has 4000 rounds in one continuous belt to work with. He is inside a ring mount that allows 360 degree rotation, and the traverse and elevation are fairly free range. A special link chute takes the links and dumps them out of the way, and the floor under the gunner is an open grate so the empties will drop out of the vehicle and out of the way.
Arms Tech Ltd uses miniguns manufactured by Dillon Precision Industries, the only current manufacturer of the M134 Minigun. Dillon keeps rigorous quality control over his manufacturing process, and the armament system goes through a very thorough testing process.
The Suburban itself has been seriously “Tweaked”, although it’s not evident from the outside appearance. In many ways, the Raptor is a “Stealth” vehicle that conceals it’s amazing speed and firepower.
Parties interested in the Raptor may contact:
Arms Tech Ltd.
5133 N. Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Foreign buyers for Miniguns can contact:
Dillon Precision Industries
8009 E. Dillon’s Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V1N5 (February 1998)|