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SOFEX 2022: Jordan's Petra unveils ultra-light LMG

Petra Global's JF-56 ultra-light machine gun at the SOFEX 2022 show in Aqaba. (Janes/Karl Ballard)

Petra Global, a Jordanian defence company, displayed an ultra-lightweight 5.56×45 mm light machine gun (LMG) during the SOFEX 2022 show held in Aqaba from 1 to 3 November.

Two prototypes were displayed as the JF-56 (short for Jordanian Forces 56), although some of the marketing material referred to the LMG as the MFR-56. The name MFR-56 was used by the Turkish company System Defence when it unveiled the weapon at the IDEF show held in Istanbul in August 2021.

Fares Deeb, Petra's chief operations officer, told Janes that the JF-56 was developed by System Defence on behalf of his company, which owns the intellectual property for the weapon. He added that it is being marketed to the Jordanian military and special operation forces as well as export customers, saying the Armed Forces of the Philippines has ordered an initial batch of approximately 500.

The weapon is currently being produced in Turkey by System Defence, he said. However, Petra is currently waiting for confirmation from the Jordanian government to enable production to begin at a facility in Mafraq.

Petra claims that, with an empty weight of 4.25 kg, the JF-56 is the lightest 5.56×45 mm multi-feed LMG on the market.

It can use linked ammunition fed from a 100-round box as well as NATO-standard magazines. It has a length of 775 mm with the stock retracted and a 412 mm barrel. It is capable of firing 700–900 rounds per minute out to a maximum effective range of 550 m. The barrel can be changed using a handle, and there is an adjustable gas regulator.

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