COPIED? TMIL Systems PRIME Versus The TYR Tactical MICO Belt-Fed Backpack

Pete
by Pete

I know very little about belt-fed machine guns and the feed chute systems available to guide the ammunition reliably. So when the TMIL Systems PRIME belt-fed manpack and ammunition system popped up on my Twitter feed, my first thought was that it might qualify as news-worthy. Then I got that weird ‘gear deja vu’ feeling. And after a minimal amount of searching, I found it: the TYR Tactical MICO belt-fed backpack and feed chute has been around for about five years and has been covered by several major digital and print publications.

So, just as I was about to punt the entire story into the trash, I decided to reach out to TYR Tactical to see about licensing agreements, updates and feature upgrades to the MICO system. “Well the interesting thing is the TMIL system is a copy. They didn’t bother contacting us or licensing it from TYR Tactical they just straight up copied the MICO the best they could,” said Jason Beck, founder and owner of TYR Tactical, which is based in Peoria, AZ.

POTD: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/10/10/potd-almost-forgotten-ar-10-lmg-ammo-backpack/

Now, the idea to use a feed chute and backpack/canister to supply ammo to a belt-fed machine gun is nothing new. Field expedient versions of such systems on typically crew-served weapons were used successfully by U.S. troops in Vietnam.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_Browning#

And of course turret mounts and flexible mounts for belt-fed guns like the Browning M2 have been around for decades, incorporating feed chute systems into their helicopter, vehicle and ship-based deployments.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_Browning#

But the similarities between the recently unveiled TMIL Prime system and the battle-proven TYR Tactical MICO are unmistakable. Even a cursory look at the sections of the PRIME and MICO’s feed chute sections and backpacks by an untrained eye would reveal very few differences. “From what we can tell, everything from the magazine, top lid with roller ([an]exact copy), the way the top flap comes over to the 3 side buckles on each pack, all are direct copies,” said Beck

“The MICO has been in service since 2010 and is utilized by US Combat forces all over the globe as well as International SOF Units,” said Beck. In November of 2014, the TYR Tactical MICO was assigned a National Supply Number (NSN) which gives stocking and ordering capabilities of items by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) as well as NATO Forces. As such, the existence and application of the MICO is no secret.

Before I jumped to any conclusions, I wanted to confirm that this was not a good-faith error made on behalf of TMIL. “I have never met with TMIL nor have they ever tried to contact me. In no way is this a miscommunication,” said Beck. All signs are now pointing to TMIL attempting to copy the parts used in the TYR MICO. Beck has an idea on who the individual(s) were that played a part in the technologies “borrowed” by TMIL to make the PRIME system. A lack of direct evidence prevents us from reporting those names in this article.

A close look at both products detail the similarities between the two:

TMIL Systems Prime
TMIL Systems Prime
TYR Tactical MICO
TYR Tactical MICO
TYR Tactical MICO

TYR Tactical:

TMIL Systems:

The feed chute design pictured is patented by Xavier Gonzalez, CEO of GSI International, based in Mesa, Arizona. A request for information on the TMIL PRIME from GSI International was not immediately returned.

A request for further information from Allepo Systems International, TMIL’s parent company, was responded to by Business Director Michael Berry. “The PRIME manpack is not a copy or breach to any product or contract related to TYR Mico or other company,” said Berry. “We made a great product, PRIME MANPACK, integrating an advanced feed chute, manufactured with all authorizations at ISO Std [sic].”

“TMIL uses feed chute manufactured at GSI international while Aleppo Systems is responsible for worldwide marketing and integration’s [sic],” continued Berry.

TYR Tactical doesn’t hold any patents on the MICO backpack system, so it is unclear if there are any legal ramifications. However, the similarities between the veteran TYR Tactical MICO and the freshman TMIL Systems PRIME are unavoidable.

TYR Tactical will be on hand at Eurosatory 2016, Defense and Security International Exhibition in Paris from June 13-17, to display and demonstrate the MICO. According to Berry, the TMIL PRIME was not prepared in time to demo at Eurosatory.

TMIL Systems:

Israel Offices: 98 Yigal Alon, Tel Aviv, Israel.

France Offices: 72 rue du Faubourg, Saint-Honore’, 75008, Paris. France.

Phone: +972.77.693.5027

Email: office@tmil-systems.com

Web: tmil-systems.com


TYR Tactical:

16661 N. 84th Ave. #110, Peoria, AZ 85382

Phone: 1-888-602-7667

International: 1-623-240-1400

Email: info@tyrtactical.com

Pete
Pete

Silencers - Science Pete@thefirearmblog.com

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  • Padmmegh Ambrela Padmmegh Ambrela on Jun 04, 2016

    It surely looks cool but I want to know how the hell it will be used or being used by the soldiers on the field, as it is given DOD supply number.The problem is an individual can,t pass his gun while jumping across a ditch or climbing a wall. MMGs, LMGs or GPMGs, which ever an individual uses they are difficult to maneuver in tight quarters of build up areas, jungles or vehicles, when your choice is 7.62 NATO or its Russian counterpart it becomes even more difficult because they are big ass guns. Handling is a problem because you cannot let the chute go under your shoulder as it may cause feed problem, one have to always keep it over the shoulder. And in a fast paced skirmish where a soldier have to maneuver a lot it is highly likely that it might happen and its also heavy which means you are slow and an easy target. Unless every soldier is Captain America or wearing a powered armor I can't see its usefulness. How about linkless feed developed by HK for HK 73 (HK 23 E variant) can such system be develop for other machine guns it makes more sense than MICO or PRIME to me?????? PLEASE reply!!!!!!!!!!
    http://www.hkpro.com/image/...
    variant of the HK23, referred to as the HK73. It features what has
    been described as a linkless feed system that holds a box similar in
    shape to a linked belt box, but as you can see in this photo, clearly
    different. It is said to hold 150 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, and is
    loaded with stripper clips.
    http://www.hkpro.com/image/...
    Detailed photo of the HK73 linkless feed magazine. 150 round capacity

    comment photo
  • Jay Jay on Jun 05, 2016

    Love to see this type of backpack with belt set up for a suppressed mini or micro uzi, with a arm stabilizer. And laser of course. The pack could hold about 4k rounds. Then you could have your other hand/arm free for your katana. ;-}

    • See 2 previous
    • Mazryonh Mazryonh on Jun 08, 2016

      @jay It was designed that way for the film so that once the powered armour ran out of battery power, the trooper using the armour could still take off the rifle and use it. It might have been different in the original book the movie was based on.

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