Home Featured Dillon Aero’s Minigun-Equipped Ford Ranger

Dillon Aero’s Minigun-Equipped Ford Ranger

Dillon Aero’s Minigun-Equipped Ford Ranger

You can also contact us by clicking here.he term “technical” is often used to describe a civilian vehicle — usually a 4×4 pickup like the venerable Toyota Hilux — that has been modified to carry an onboard weapon system such as a heavy machine gun, anti-aircraft cannon, or anti-tank rocket launcher. The light and mobile weapon concept goes far beyond automobiles to horse-drawn Tachanka carts from the First World War, or carroballistas – which are basically large crossbows mounted on carriages – of the Roman Empire.

According to the book, however From the Great War through to Modern Special Forces, Non-Standard Vehicles are a part of our technical knowledge. by Leigh Neville, this descriptor originated during the Somali Civil War in the early 1990s, where NGOs hired local gunmen in “Mad Max-style armed pickup trucks” for protection under the guise of being “technical advisers.”

2021 Ford Ranger XLT Supercrew 4X4

  • Drive Train The 2.3L EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • Suspension: Fox Performance Elite Series 2.5 remote reservoir coilover shocks
  • Armament: Dillon Aero MMC turret equipped with Dillon Aero M134D Minigun, and Trijicon MGRS sights
  • Wheels & Tires: Tires: 285/70R17 All-Terrain KO2 tires on 17-inch Turbomac HD wheels.
  • Body Modifications Dillon Aero custom-made bed cage, Coastal Offroad bumpers/skid plates, ShrockWorks Rock sliders, Prinsu Roof Rack, Roam Adventure Company awning, Rotopax Fuel Containers
  • Electronics: Baja Designs Squadron Pro and S2 Pro A pillar lights mounted on SDHQ brackets. sPOD HD controller for lights/accessories, PRC 113 radio with VRC 83 amplifier, bumper-mounted antenna and Warn winch.
  • Lighting & Electronics: Dual AGM house battery, two SunWare 100W solar panels, Victron Energy 2,000W Power inverter. Alpine Halo 11″ head unit/navigation. Simarine PICO touch screen information panel. Two Dometic refrigerators. LED camper lighting. Charge ports. Warn Zeon 10S Platinum winch. Factor 55 Fairlead. Baja Designs S1 Bumper lights and LP9 driving lights. KC Hilites Cyclone Rock lights.
  • Owner & Builder: Dillon Aero Inc. Scottsdale, Arizona
  • URL: dillonaero.com
  • Special Thanks Foothills Fabrication ShrockWorks Coastal Offroad SDHQ Motorsports

As with other weapon concepts that have persisted through history, technicals still appear in nearly every modern conflict because they’re extremely effective. Technicals are not purpose-built military vehicles, which require expensive, specialized parts and complicated maintenance procedures. Instead, they’re based on vehicles available locally that can be serviced by Jiffy Lube or its equivalent in third-world countries. Weapon components are bolted in or welded into place so that they can be easily removed and replaced. If the vehicle is damaged during combat, it will only cost tens of thousand dollars to repair or replace.

Side profile of a ford ranger mounted with a Dillon Aero minigun as viewed from the rear.

Above: This bed cage is designed to hold overland accessories, such as Rotopax canisters of fuel.

Arizona-based weapon manufacturer Dillon Aero recognized the merits of the technical formula, but wanted to put its own spin on it — literally. The Dillon team purchased this 2021 Ford Ranger and equipped it with the company’s Multi-Mission Capable (MMC) system, which is a modular, power-operated turret that can accept a wide variety of weapons. The compatibility list includes M240 and M60 medium machine guns, an M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun, MK19/MK47/H&K GMG automatic grenade launchers, the Russian PKM, and many others.

The upgraded suspension on a Ford Ranger.

Above: Fox coilovers equipped with remote-reserved shocks enable this Ranger to navigate washboard desert roads at speed.

But this truck features the cream of the crop — Dillon Aero’s M134D minigun, which doles out a staggering 3,000 rounds of 7.62 NATO per minute. That’s 50 rounds per second, or about four times the rate of fire of an M240. As we were taking pictures for the article, we sent some rounds downrange using the M134D inside the MMC turret. We can only describe the experience as a firehose full of hot lead. If you can use one without grinning ear-to-ear, we can’t be friends.

Photo of the antenna mount on the back of a Ford Ranger.

Above: This Coastal Offroad high clearance rear bumper comes with a swing-out that includes a spare tire in full-size, a trash bag and an antenna mounting.

As cool as the minigun is, there’s more to this truck than its armament. A representative told us, “The Dillon Aero Ford Ranger goes a step further with the engineering effort to mount field-deployable communication systems that allow for ground control of military and civilian aircraft. We also implemented overland features that allow for extended capability in various mission settings.” The most noticeable upgrade is a one-of-a-kind custom bed cage that supports the MMC system; Dillon engineers designed and prototyped it using CAD files provided by Ford.

The truck features Coastal Offroad front and back bumper sheetmetal kit, which was welded and finished on-site. The front bumper is equipped with four Baja Designs led lights and a Warn sling winch. While the rear bumper comes with a spare tire mount and an antenna mount. That antenna is connected to a Mil-spec PRC-113 VHF/UHF radio that sits atop the truck’s dash.

Photo of the center console of an upgraded Ford Ranger.

Above: This truck is equipped with a PRC-113 Mil-spec radio for communication. Its bulky amplifier was relocated behind the console to free up space on the dashboard.

The Ranger is equipped with ShrockWorks Rock Sliders, a Coastal Offroad Skid Plate, Fox remote-reservoir Shocks, Fifteen52 17-inch wheels, and BFGoodrich 33-inch all-terrain BFGoodrich tires. Roam Adventure Co.’s awning was also bolted to the Prinsu rooftop rack. Rotopax fuel containers were mounted on the bed-cage.

A pile of spent brass casings on the ground after Dillon Aero's minigun sent rounds down range.

Above: The Dillon Aero MMC system integrated into this custom-built bed cage helps the M134D operator maintain control as it shoots a nearly constant beam of rounds downward. This weapon can produce a significant pile of spent belt links and brass after just a few bursts.

Although technicals are typically the work of “austere” mechanics and fabricators in war-torn countries, it’s not hard to see why mainstream manufacturers like Dillon Aero (and Global Military Products, distributors of the Scorpion mortar truck featured in Issue 61 of our sister publication RECOIL) are getting on board with the idea. It’s much easier and more cost-effective to install a weapon system on a locally sourced civilian truck than it is to send a custom-built military vehicle halfway across the globe and keep it running.

Photo of a man shooting a Dillon Aero minigun mounted to the top of a ford ranger.

Above: The turret accepts a variety of weapons, including heavy machine guns and grenade launchers, but this Ranger is equipped with Dillon’s own M134D Minigun. We’re told they also have plans to try it with the .50-caliber 503D Gatling gun in the near future.

Kyle Goodale of Dillon’s Special Projects skunkworks explained, “We’ve had many vehicle platforms come into the shop, usually built for one purpose or another … The Ranger represents the first project of its type for Dillon Aero, where the Special Projects division was given a blank slate to build upon. We look forward to implementing it in our testing processes for various weapon systems such as the 503D (.50-caliber Gatling gun) platform and having a good time with it as well.”

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Editor’s Note: This article was modified from its original web version.

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