Landcruiser in Libya with remote control machine gun turret

A BBC News team came across an abandoned Toyota Landcruiser in the Libyian city of Sirte which was outfitted with a remote controlled and fully retractable machine gun turret. The machine gun appears to be a HK21 (or one of its variants) and is fitted with two cameras. A local suggested it was used by the Gaddafi family. The engineering and electronics work looks professional, not like the DIY weapons being fielded by the rebels.

[ Many thanks to Tarkan for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • JT

    It doesn’t look armored, so what’s the point of sitting in an unarmored tinderbox in a stationary position? Is the vehicle also remote controlled? Or else why would somebody put themself in that much risk when they could just get prone on the ground?

    • milner

      I believe it is armored

      • JT

        ah. I couldn’t tell from the pictures

    • Johannes

      unless it was designed to shot down unarmed protesting citizens.

    • If you know what to look for, it does in fact appear armored.

      The point is to not make it obvious that it is armored. Key points are the glass on the driver’s door. Note the black band around glass that is probably a shadow from the thickness, and that the glass appears broken yet still in together. Lastly, such windows are designed only to be rolled down about a third, as this one shows.

    • Aurelien

      Most armored SUVs don’t look armored at all. The tales are, as said, the windows, and the sheer weight of the doors (from the armored panels and windows)
      Looking at the technology and the car itself (80-series Land Cruiser), it seems to have been made in the late 90s. Could be a Venezuelan-made 80-series (that could explain the english-language switches and the HK MG) but the golden logo on the front points to a japanese-made car.

      As for the armor, there is a whole load of companys making armored light/heavy SUVs around, showing their armored Land Cruiser 200 at anywhere they can.

    • Andrew

      Plus, at the BBC site which has more pictures, they explicitly say that it is armoured, and show some of the gun ports in the doors.

  • Darren

    Why are the switches labeled in English?

  • Lance

    Not as cool as a Toyoda using a DSHK .50 cal on top.

  • Tinkerer

    Notice the english labels on the control panel. Maybe it was made by english-speaking engineers, maybe it was intended to be used by english-speaking operators (mercs?).

  • Burst

    There have been a lot of Brits in the Middle East. Lately, Americans too.
    stylized alphabets are a poor choice for anything overly technical
    (pun intended, maybe) and electronic LMGs are in that category.

    So, English. Although German would have been like 20% cooler.

  • Komrad

    I’ve seen things like this before, specifically on the “bulletproof” episode of Modern Marvels.

  • SteveW

    Where’s the Red Jacket logo?

    Oddly, what catches my eye is the hood ornament. I miss those.

  • tarkan

    Libya is not a place to go unarmored as you can find in 2nd link but in BBC TopGear they make everything to kill a toyota pickup but it refuses to die,incredible…