The German Armed Forces have selected C.G. Haenel as the preferred bidder in the program to replace the G36 assault rifle that was delivered by Heckler & Koch 30 years ago.
According to a German defense ministry announcement, the Sturmgewehr program attracted three bidders who submitted their offers in June this year. The defense ministry added that the decision was still subject to legal challenges and is yet to receive parliamentary approval.
Germany’s decision to pick C.G. Haenel breaks with decades of tradition in choosing Heckler & Koch weapons for its armed forces. The third bidder in the tender was Rheinmetall-Steyr Mannlicher duo who offered the RS556 rifle.
Responding to the German defense ministry announcement, Heckler & Koch said they had improved the already technically highly developed HK416 for the German tender, and demonstrably fulfilled all tender conditions. The company noted that the rifle is used in numerous NATO countries, on the one hand as a standard weapon in Norway, France and in the US Marine Corps, and as an assault rifle among many others in the special forces.
“We will now examine the decision in detail from a legal point of view and exhaust all legal possibilities,” Heckler & Koch CEO Jens Bodo Koch said.
According to the defense ministry, the program for the purchase of 120,000 of C.G. Haenel’s MK556 rifles will be worth an estimated 250 million euro ($300 million). The company will deliver the rifles from its Suhl headquarters in central Germany. C.G. Haenel is part of Caracal International, a company of the United Arab Emirates state conglomerate EDGE Group.