This just in: The Shrike 5.56 LMG(Light Machine Gun) upper, by ARES Defense Systems, LLC, is in production and currently available for pre-order(both in select-fire and semi-auto-only configurations), and the ARES Defense Systems site is up and running. If you remember, DefRev reported on the Shrike 5.56 and ARES Defense Systems some time ago. If it works as advertised, the Shrike 5.56 just might throw the Squad Automatic Weapon(SAW)/LMG market right on it’s ear. When fitted to a standard M16 or M4 lower, the Shrike, coming in at about 8 lbs, turns said weapon into a lightweight SAW/LMG that is supposedly every bit as or more reliable than…
its much heavier competition in the "squad automatic weapon" category. The FN M249 Minimi for example, currently in use by our armed forces, is significantly heavier and more cumbersome, even in its new MK46 MOD 0(for the Navy SEAL’s) or M249SPW configurations. "SPW" stands for "Special Purpose Weapon", by the way. The MK46 MOD 0 and M249SPW both weigh 12.6 lbs. The Shrike 5.56 set-up even appears to be about 2.5 lbs lighter than the universally-acclaimed Ultimax 100 LMG/SAW, made by ST Kinetics of Singapore, and roughly 7 lbs lighter than the Israeli Negev Commando LMG/SAW, made by IMI(Israel Military Industries). Only time will tell if the Shrike’s performance under harsh battlefield conditions can equal that of either the Ultimax or Negev, both of which are supposed to be highly reliable and durable under adverse conditions.
Again, ARES Defense Systems is taking orders right now. Both full-auto and semi-auto(pre-ban and post-ban) uppers are available. I believe this product will prove to be a very big deal in the small arms/tactical firearms market, if it works as advertised, and is reliable and durable. I’ve spoken with the designer on a number of occasions, and have been waiting a long time for the Shrike 5.56 to be available to the public. It should be noted that DefenseReview.com has no financial stake or interest in the Shrike 5.56. We just really like the concept and significant promise the system has demonstrated.
Click on this link to visit ARES Defense Systems’ main index page.
There’s also a news bulletin about the Shrike 5.56 on Full-Auto.com which appears to be an excellent and informative new site. Definitely worth bookmarking.
Just found some good pics of the Shrike 5.56 on a TFL (TheFiringLine.com) thread. They were provided by Art Eatman, who moderates the "Full Auto" section. Here they are: