Munitions / Pods / HMP

HMP

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Gun pod

  • ORIGIN
    Belgium

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1970's

  • DESIGNER
    Fabrique Nationale

  • PRODUCTION
    1984 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Belgium - Fabrique Nationale

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good firepower
    Adaptable to most light aircraft
    Limited weight
    Optional combination with 70mm rockets
    Ineffective against armored vehicles

Introduction

The HMP is a lightweight gun pod of Belgian origin. It was developed by Fabrique Nationale in the late 1970's for use on helicopters and subsonic aircraft. The name HMP stands for Heavy Machine gun Pod. A fairly recent development is the RMP, which stands for Rocket and Machine gun Pod and adds the ability to fire 70mm aerial rockets.

Design

The HMP pods have a fairly straighforward design. They consist of a metal cylinder with plastic front and rear covers. The single 12.7mm M3P heavy machine gun is solenoid fired and fitted fairly high in the middle of the pod. The linked ammunition is stored under the barrel. Depending on the design cases are ejected or stored while links are always stored. The RMP pod adds four launch tube for 70mm aerial rockets under the gun pod. The weapon is aimed by maneuvering the aircraft.

Firepower

The HMP pods are fitted with the 12.7mm M3P heavy machine gun and carry either 250 or 400 rounds of ammunition. The M3P has a rate of fire of about 1.075 rpm and may use any type of 12.7mm ammunition. The effective range is 3 km versus area targets and 1 km against single vehicles. The RMP pod adds four 70mm aerial rockets which makes the pod also effective against light armored vehicles.

Users

The HMP and its variant have been acquired by over 25 nations. The HMP has been certified for use on the BO-105, MD-520, Ecureuil, Bell 206, Bell 206, Bell 412, Lynx, BK-117, S-76, Super Puma and UH-60 Blackhawk. Fixed wing aircraft include the PC-7, PC-9, EMB-312 Tucano, TB-30 Epsilon and BN-2 Defender. Tests have been conducted on various other helicopters and aircraft.

Variants

Heavy Machine gun Pod

The HMP pods are fitted with a 12.7mm M3P heavy machine gun. Three versions are available. The designation HMP is followed by the number of rounds it carries and if it is fitted with a links collector (LC) or links and case collector (LCC).
HMP-250 LC: Original and most common variant which has a 250 round capacity and links collector. It is identified by its rounded nose cone.
HMP-400 LC: HMP model with 400 round capacity and links collector. It is identified by its squared rounded nose cone.
HMP-400 LCC: HMP-400 model with links and case collector. The case collector is located in the squared bulge below the pod.

TypeGun pod
PlatformAircraft, helicopters
Length2.05 m
Diameter0.41 m
Weight116.5 kg loaded
Armament12.7mm M3P machine gun with 250 rounds
RemarksMach 0.75 maximum speed, 355 mm lug spacing
TypeGun pod
PlatformAircraft, helicopters
Length2.12 m
Diameter0.41 m
Weight138 kg loaded
Armament12.7mm M3P machine gun with 400 rounds
RemarksMach 0.70 maximum speed, 355 mm lug spacing
TypeGun pod
PlatformAircraft, helicopters
Length2.12 m
Diameter0.41 m wide, 0.45 m tall
Weight138 kg loaded
Armament12.7mm M3P machine gun with 400 rounds
RemarksMach 0.75 maximum speed, 355 mm lug spacing

Rocket Machine gun Pod

The RMP pod is a derivative of the HMP-250 LC pod with four 70mm aerial rocket tubes fitted side by side under the pod. Only a single RMP model is available.
RMP LC: HMP-250 LC pod with four 70mm tubes mounted underneath.

TypeGun / rocket pod
PlatformAircraft, helicopters
Length1.935 mm
Diameter0.42 m wide, 0.453 m tall
Weight160 kg loaded
Armament12.7mm M3P machine gun with 250 rounds
4x 70mm rocket
RemarksMach 0.75 maximum speed, 355 mm lug spacing

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