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