The PZD 556 light machine gun is a relatively new product from the Czech company DSS (Defense and Security Services) SA. Introduced in 2023, the only known users of this weapon are certain volunteer units of the Ukrainian armed forces.
At the first glance the PZD 556 light machine gun appears to be a rather straightforward clone of the well-known FN Minimi light machine gun, with only minor and mostly cosmetic differences. The only visible departure from the Belgian prototype is the simplified feed system, with no provisions for the box magazine feed. It is also worth noting that despite a relatively short barrel (only 35 cm or 13,7”) and a not so powerful 5.56mm NATO ammunition this gun in its bare form weights almost as much as a noticeably more powerful and effective 7.62mm Kalashnikov PKM universal machine gun.
The PZD 556 light machine gun is a gas operated, full automatic only weapon. It fires from an open bolt, and features a long piston stroke gas system with a manual gas regulator. Barrel is locked by a rotating bolt with dual locking lugs. The feed system is adapted for the NATO standard disintegrating metallic belts using the M27 links, and there is no provision for an alternate / backup magazine feed, as can be found in the FN Minimi machine gun. Belt containers can be clipped below the gun for improved maneuverability. The barrel is fluted to improve cooling, and, presumably, can be changed rapidly if overheated.
In its basic configuration the PZD 556 light machine gun is equipped with a lightweight folding bipod and an adjustable shoulder stock. Gun also has a mounting point for installation on an infantry tripod or in a vehicle mount. All versions of the gun are equipped with an integrated Picatinny rail at the top of the feed cover for installation of various optical or night sights, and also feature backup iron sights. Additional accessory rails can be mounted below the barrel.
The PZD 556 light machine gun, basic specification