IRONMAN Backpack – For Relentless Fire Superiority

Nathan S
by Nathan S

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
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.

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  • FA FA on Aug 30, 2014

    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 Matt Shermer on Sep 03, 2014

    Just in time for the USMC to dump the SAW at the Fireteam and Squad level, hopefully the Marines might still be interested in the system and the poor sap at the Platoon level that still carries one might get a chance to try this. Maybe this will show up on some 240Gs.