Just because it’s designed primarily for hauling cargo and troops doesn’t mean the MV-22 Osprey is defenseless. On the contrary, it packs quite a punch.
The tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey combines a helicopter’s ability to vertically take-off and land with the long range and high speed characteristics of a turboprop airplane. While the design on the Osprey makes it incredibly versatile, it also makes it difficult to add weapons.
However, that didn’t stop the designers from arming the MV-22. The first weapon is a pretty vanilla M-240 machine-gun mounted on the ramp and covering the aircraft’s rear. Yeah, the M-240 is a really cool and very capable weapon, but it’s nothing you won’t see on most other helicopters. The other problem is that it can only fire behind the aircraft.
The second weapon is the real silver tuna though, and it looks like it’s straight out of a Call of Duty video game. Officially named the Interim Defensive Weapon System (IDWS), it’s basically a remotely controlled GAU-17 7.62x51mm minigun fired from inside the aircraft by a gunner using an LCD screen. Capable of a 360-degree arc of fire and sporting an infrared camera with a 28x zoom lens, the IDWS is useful both for surveillance and engaging potential threats out past 1,000m.
Check out the videos below to see the M-240 and the IDWS in action on Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft on training missions in Yuma, Arizona, and Twentynine Palms, California.
Pretty cool, huh?
You really don’t want to be on the wrong of that IDWS…