The government of Germany has taken a significant step toward providing the Bundeswehr with a new standard service rifle.
In 2024, the German military hopes to start replacing its current G36 rifles with the new HK416 A8s made by Heckler & Koch and set to fire the NATO-standard 5.56x45mm ammunition.
This decision comes two years after legal troubles forced the surprise cancellation of the initial contract award to arms manufacturer CG Haenel.
The German Federal Ministry of Defense announced on December 16 that the country’s Parliamentary Budget Committee, or Bundestag, had approved initial funding for what is formally known as the Bundeswehr Assault Rifle System, or Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr System.
The German government has announced plans to spend roughly €209 million on the purchase of 118,718 HK416 A8 rifles. It has yet to be determined whether or not this sum also includes things like spare parts, accessories, and support services.
According to another report published in March by the German outlet Soldat Und Technik, Heckler & Koch was expected to receive a contract worth around 273.3 million euros.
The HK416 series is derived from the US-designed AR-15/M16 model but differs substantially from the original design in its use of a physical gas piston instead of a so-called direct impact to actuate the action.
The direct impingement system uses propellant gas drawn from the barrel during firing and pours it directly into the internal action of the weapon.
A gas piston system offers reliability advantages in that it does not expel that gas, and the particles it usually carries, directly into the main action, where it can accumulate on various surfaces. Instead, it uses propellant gas and turns the bolt using a mechanical piston system.