[Indo Defense 2018] Shrunk Down: Profense’s Minigun in 5.56

    Profense has been shaking the Minigun game up since introducing their competitor to Dillon Aero’s domination of the international market in 7.62x51mm NATO M134 Minigun platforms manufactured in the United States. Taking things up (or down) a notch, Profense introduced a 5.56x45mm NATO variant of their 7.62x51mm NATO M134 while at AUSA in April this year. A 5.56x45mm version of the Minigun has historically been done before, with the XM214 “Microgun” from General Electric during the Vietnam War. However, the 5.56x45mm cartridge was too inaccurate for fast-moving vehicles such as aircraft and the U.S. Army wasn’t interested in the project as an infantry portable HMG. Fast forward to today and the increasing use of special operations forces combined with small craft such as speedboats and all-terrain vehicles, having a Minigun that takes up less space and weight and is needed for suppressive fire at shorter ranges, a 5.56x45mm NATO Minigun might have some merit.

    Talking to the Profense representatives, we learned that the PF556 5.56x45mm variant originated in an international customer solicitation. The machine gun has a completely redesigned user control system that is different from their original 7.62x51mm design. It is backwards compatible with their earlier system so users can install it on their earlier mounting brackets in the same location.

    Specs from Profense

    Photographs below are of a 1:1 reproduction demonstration model and not of the actual machine gun.

    Grips are from Hogue -Miles V, Indo Defense 2018

    The Low and High buttons are for lower and higher rates of fire -Miles V, Indo Defense 2018

    -Miles V, Indo Defense 2018

    The barrel is between 16 and 18 inches-Miles V, Indo Defense 2018

    -Miles V, Indo Defense 2018

    The “Aero Clamp” cooling shroud at the front of the barrels is a Profense design that the company claims reduce operating temperatures across the system -Miles V, Indo Defense 2018

    Not at the show but on the Profense website is a version with a light desert tan finish.

    In a video featured on the company website, a remotely operated version (this one being 7.62x51mm) was being used on a Polaris all-terrain vehicle.

    In addition to the 5.56x45mm version being mounted in the assistant driver’s seat of the same Polaris.

    Miles

    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]


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