IRONMAN Backpack – For Relentless Fire Superiority

The US Army has been developing the IRONMAN backpack to increase the immediately available ammunition for crew-served weapons. The entire system enables the automatic weapons carrier to deploy suppressing and superior fire for an extended period compared to current 100 and 200 round belts. In short, it takes a crew-served weapon and turns it into a single soldier deployable system for short missions.



The system is comprised of three major components:

  1. The backpack system – this holds an unbroken belt of standard-issue ammunition (around 500 rounds).
  2. Exterior ammo belt guide – Protects the ammo belt until it is
  3. Weapons adapter – Mounts the belt guide to the weapon system.

For more details, see the Army’s video below:

The Army suitably gushes over the IRONMAN backpack’s development on their website here.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Zachary marrs

    This is what a liberal sees when you show them a p-mag

  • Hoff

    Is that… DUCT TAPE?

    • gunslinger

      tactical duct tape

    • MrDakka

      Us Orks aproov dah moar dakka wit dah duk tape

      • USMC03Vet

        Needs more red paint to shoot fasta!

        • Martin M

          All dat gonna kost a heap o teef.

          • MattInTheCouv

            …i feel like this is referencing some internet video or something that i really need to watch. help a brutha out?

          • Svengaar

            Warhammer 40000

        • iksnilol

          Wat if u paint bullet red? It go fastah?

  • DG

    Was this not something that was seen on the TV show Sons of guns except they used a PKM?

    • sianmink

      Pretty sure they just took an existing system and adapted it to 7.62x54R.

  • Mario AK

    They need to build a new MG around this concept: a lighter belt linkage with the chute supporting the rounds feeding an forced air-cooled, non-replacable barrel like the pecheneg… This system makes no sense unless your barrel can take some serious pounding, training be damned

    • Billy Bones

      LBT has had a belt feed pack for quite some time. However, Armalite was the originator.

  • Jbgleason

    They sort of forget to mention that a private company had already developed and brought to market this concept with their own money before the Army “borrowed” some of the design concepts (meaning copied exactly) and made their own. Might work in the short term but 1. Army still has to get someone to manufacture it and 2. If they keep that up, private companies will stop doing self funded development. Not saying they broke any laws, there wasn’t a patent to my knowledge, but it is a bad idea to screw private industry like that.

  • echelon

    How is this new? Jesse Ventura had one of those on his mini-gun back in the 80’s…

    • Educated Ahole

      You should really read the primary source…

      That pinnacle of modern cinema served as the inspiration. That said, can’t argue with the sentiment.

      • echelon

        Yeah I didn’t bother to go to the actual website after my initial read through here on TFB…nice to see they gave credit where it was due though. 🙂

    • LCON

      That was a replica of a device cooked up by Seals on there own. this is mass produced for the regular army.

  • hami

    Someone would have to be completely soulless to not have a healthy feeling of bravado while wearing this

  • Armalite tried this concept as early as the late ’50s with a belt-fed version of the AR-10. Picture:×480

  • who cares?

    Hey Zack; What part of “Firearms not Politics” do you not understand? Douche.

    • Zachary marrs

      Hey who cares, what part of humor doy upu not understand?

    • USMC03Vet

      Shit was hilarious.

      If you find it offensive go pound sand. This is the internet.

      • who cares?

        It was not hilarious, nor was it offensive. However I play by the rules. Go pound some sand your own self.

        • HKGuns

          Guess there is one Douche on this site that needs to better understand the definition of Douche. Who assigned you the duty of Hall Monitor? Douche

        • Zachary marrs

          The writers of this site will sometimes break the rules.

          Lighten up francis

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      Yeah dude, relax, it’s just a joke. I hope you don’t own any guns.

    • Zachary marrs

      Also; why are you beating up on me? Look at “the guns of Ferguson” post, have fun shitting enough bricks to biuld a mansion

    • Yellow Devil

      What’s sad is I had to scroll all the way down to the bottom to see what warrented such an angry response, and was, how to say, disappointed.

      Still, I found the joke quite funny.

  • Dustin in Texas

    I wonder if the feed system would get in the way, especially when standing.

    • iksnilol

      If you had the belt feeding from the right (like on the PKM) it wouldn’t be a problem for a right-handed user.

  • frank

    One edit: “This Idea came from a soldier..who saw predator.”

  • stephenfshaw

    Pretty sure Jason Beck of TYR Tactical has had this up on his site for a couple of years now –

    • LCON

      Mico was built for a socom trial, Ironman was cooked up by the Army RFI crew. It’s a Shame the army has not bothered to test the two head to head.

  • S O

    U.S.Army “R&D” is embarrassing as always:

  • USMC03Vet

    So hot especially for the A gunner that carries the bulk of the ammunition.

    • FA

      Gunners are not caring the bulk of ammo, or are not supposed to anymore.

      • USMC03Vet

        I know which is why I said A gunner aka assistant gunner.

  • Spencer W
  • LCON

    It fits the M240 and the Mk48mod1 Mg’s of course the Tyr Mico also fits 5.56mm MG’s

  • Xaun Loc

    Wow – 500 rounds of 7.62mm all linked together and connected to a LMG!
    Gee, we only carried 300 rounds of that same ammo linked together and connected to our M60 machine guns in 1968 (of course we carried one or two additional 300 round packs along as well, depending on how far we were going and what we were doing). Of course we were 11E’s, not 11B’s, so it only took one of us to carry and operate an M60.

    • LCON

      That means this mother of a pack is equal to 4 reloads the Gunner does not have to preform.

      • Tom Currie

        Since you chose to reply to me instead of commenting on the original article, I guess arithmetic wasn’t covered in school where you grew up.
        A 500 round belt would eliminate four reloads the gunner doesn’t need to perform, but only if you are comparing it to the 100 round belts that the Army packages the ammo as. It would also eliminate about 20 immediate action drills if you are comparing it to the ammo belts worn Pancho Villa style that are popular with idiots trying to look kool.

  • Spencer

    I just couldn’t resist…

  • Savage 93

    Appeared on “Sons of Guns” about 3 years ago using a PKM, great concept, just sad to see it had to be fabricated in the field

    • LCON

      That on was a total custom job but based on the same concept.

  • joedeats

    Quiver of death…it’s been around and used in the field ready.

  • Xavier C.

    Special Forces is already using this in combat.

    right around the 10:12 mark its clearly visible.

  • Gregory Markle

    My buddy’s 16-year old son did most of the work on this M-60 backpack once we found the various parts. He had to make some of the parts to connect the feed chute to the gun and did a great job!

  • Alex

    lolol they didn’t even need to develop anything. TYR tactical had a belt fed backpack setup years ago.

  • Will

    How much does it weigh fully loaded?
    How do you reload it in the field!
    The belt guide looks as though it would be cumbersome in tight quarters.
    What do you do with it, especially the belt guide, after it’s empty? Just toss it?

  • boooooooop

    am i the only one wondering how easy it is going to be to clear jams out of this?

    especially if the belt gets flipped over in the pack if you have to drop prone, or god forbid fall off of something.

  • FA

    I see a couple of issues with this. It may have a role with special teams, but for regular light Infantry it offers little. First, is weight, we already carry a lot of weight, this would be a lot more. Second, a gunner couldn’t “ditch” his pack to crawl into position. This is common tactic for support by fire positions. Who would then carry the gunners kit for the patrol? The other two team members are already carrying stuff. Where is the gunners mandatory 3 quarts of water (Army almost demands you use camel back). Lastly, it doesn’t offer anything over good training. A good gun team will be able to link belts & break them for easier movement workout you noticing. Not saying this doesn’t have a use, I’m sure it may. Just seems awfully “Hollywood-ish”. They’ve been around for years and we don’t use them in gun teams, privates don’t even ask for them, that should tell you something.

    Senior Weapons Squad leader, light Infantry

  • Matt Shermer

    Just in time for the USMC to dump the SAW at the Fireteam and Squad level, hopefully the poor sap at the Platoon level that still carries one might get a chance to try this, hell maybe they can scale up the system and adapt it to the 240G.