Saturday, May 22, 2010

Navy Open House 2010 - Changi Naval Base, Singapore

Miniguns spell major improvement in RSN firepower

The M134 Miniguns unveiled at the Navy Open House today are just the thing Singapore's sailors need when sent in harm's way.

The Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) move to arm some of its warships with Miniguns shows that even as the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) transformation gathers pace, brute force is sometimes the only way to settle shootouts at sea.

Miniguns need no introduction to weapons enthusiasts.

These guns have been around for decades and are prized for their ability to hose down their targets with 7.62mm bullets at a rate of 3,000 rounds per minute - that's 50 bullets every second - with a good degree of accuracy. See what a Minigun can do here.

Fans of the Terminator movies would recognise the Minigun as the six-barrel weapon which Arnie used to mow down the opposition while holding the 15-kg weapon in his one buffed hand.

The RSN sailors say it's movie magic. So they rely on strong weapon mounts to bring Miniguns into action during shootouts on the high seas. Though the RSN did not say it, the weapons rails mated to the Minigun indicate that unspecified weapon sights and night vision devices can be fitted to the weapon to improve its precision effect.

To warships that may have to deal with swarm attacks by small craft in congested waters, the Minigun's destructive power makes it a weapon of choice in any last-ditch gunfight.

"There's a tracer with every few rounds fired and I walk the stream of rounds to the target like a garden hose," said an RSN warfighter at the Navy Open House."It can chew up a target accurately up to 1-km away. The rounds are also lethal up to 2km-plus."

The 4,000 ready rounds linked to each Minigun by the flexible feed chute give gunners the punch to fend off several small craft attacks against their warship before reloading.

It doesn't give an iron-clad defence, but is nonetheless a vast improvement to the 12.7mm CIS 50 heavy machineguns that are the current last-ditch weapons on RSN warships. The pintle-mounted machineguns are fed by a 100-round box magazine, have a lower rate of fire and are hard to control against fleeting targets.

The electrically-fired Miniguns offer far better insurance, especially during anti-piracy operations where there's a need to keep hostile fast craft as far away as possible lest small arms fire or rocket-propelled grenades disable the RSN warship's sensor suite.

The Minigun's ability to reach out and touch hostile vessels up to 1km away and the "garden hose" effect from the stream of hot tracer rounds will give unwelcome visitors a hot reception.

Go Navy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These miniguns are upgraded by Dillon Aero, and also feature two P-rails on top of the receiver. The ME2 I asked said that these are for NV optics.

Now only if big green army gets some M134s and mount them on Broncos... :D