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  • French select HK416

    Infantry Weapons
    French Army selects HK416 to replace FAMAS
    Nicholas de Larrinaga, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
    27 September 2016
    The French Army's new service rifle will be the Heckler & Koch HK416F, the French defence procurement agency (the DGA) announced on 23 September.

    France has selected the HK416F as its new service rifle. (Heckler & Koch)
    France has selected the HK416F as its new service rifle. (Heckler & Koch)

    France has a long history of firearms innovations yet this has withered on the vine, with the HK416F set to be the first French standard-issue rifle bought from abroad. Not only will the German rifle be the first foreign rifle used by France, but the selection also sees the French Army turn its back on bullpup rifle designs.

    The HK416F is to replace the French Army's existing FAMAS bullpup assault rifles, which first entered service in 1979. According to the DGA the first deliveries of HK416F rifles are due to begin in 2017, and will run for over ten years.

    France's military programming law (LPM), calls for the delivery of 100,000 new service rifles by 2019. France currently possesses about 400,000 FAMAS rifles in both the F1 version and upgraded G1 variant. Cuts to the size of the French Army mean that few HK416F will likely be purchased than current FAMAS stocks however. The initial contract with Heckler & Koch is expected to include 5,340 rifles plus parts and accessories.

    The DGA launched the effort to replace the FAMAS - the Arme Individuelle Future (AIF) programme - in May 2014. This tender called for the delivery of 90,000 new rifles, half of which would be in a short-barrelled configuration (AIF Courte). The DGA was evaluating five foreign bidders at its test site in Bourges when IHS Jane's visited in April. Purchasing a foreign rifle had become inevitable after the Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Etienne (MAS) factory closed in 2002, two years after FAMAS production finally ended.

    The 'F' designation for the HK416 is not a standard one and likely refers to French-specified alterations to the base model.

    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  • #2
    Somewhat related:

    Infantry Weapons
    Germany, France to renew assault rifle talks
    Remigiusz Wilk, Warsaw - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
    07 November 2016

    France and Germany are planning to renew talks about selecting a common individual weapon for their armed forces.

    A discussion between Germany's defence procurement office (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr - BAAINBw) and the French defence procurement agency (Direction Générale de l'Armement - DGA) regarding the technical specification of France's future individual weapon (Arme Individuelle Future - AIF) started in 2015. However, the talks were terminated in late 2015 during the final phase of the French AIF tender to avoid any possible compromising of the ongoing competition.

    On 22 September the French Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a EUR168 million (USD186 million) contract for 102,000 Heckler & Koch (H&K) HK416F assault rifles to replace France's FAMAS F1s. The H&K weapon competed with the Beretta ARX160, FN Herstal SCAR-L, HS Produkt VHS-2 and SIG Sauer MCX rifles.

    France is the second nation to introduce the HK416 as its standard-issue rifle, with the HK416N variant being used by the Norwegian armed forces since 2008.

    When the AIF tender was finalised, German MoD stated that the BAAINBw-DGA rifle talks were to be renewed in December 2016.

    Germany is interested in the detailed technical requirement for the AIF programme and the explanation of the procurement decisions made in relation to it.

    The German MoD is planning to introduce a new service rifle by 2019. It is expected that replacing the country's G36 rifle will take 6-7 years.

    The Bundeswehr's initial requirement is for 124,000 assault rifles, with additional equipment and simulator systems making the overall programme worth an estimated EUR630 million.

    Meanwhile, the BAAINBw has issued a note to industry and is already evaluating and screening the assault rifle market for a G36 replacement. A total of 181,773 G36 assault rifles and G36K carbines were delivered to the Bundeswehr by H&K from 1996.


    • #3

      The French tender of originally 90,000 rifles was not changed. What was added to come to "100,000 service rifles" was 10,000 grenade launchers - most places get that wrong.

      Contract is for:
      - 38,505 AIF-C (HK416F-C) with 11 inch barrel
      - 54,575 AIF-S (HK416F-S) with 14.5 inch barrel
      - 10,767 HK269F 40x46 UBGL for use with AIF-S.
      - about 400 rounds training ammunition per rifles
      - about 8.5 grenades ammunition per launcher

      HK416F is an adaption of the HK416A5 model, an ambidextrous version with a STANAG 4694 rail on top. Modification is in removing the gas regulator, switching to a different stock, adding a new folding iron sight and a new flash hider compatible with firing French APAV40 rifle grenades (from the AIF-S version).

      The standard HK416A5 with 14.5 and 11 inch barrels carry the designations G38K and G38C in the German procurement office respectively.


      • #4
        Can't wait to see France lob rifle grenades off these.
        To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


        • #5
          Official from French army:

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          The yellow plastic magazines are for exercise ammunition. Interesting that apparently both a bayonet and a bipod are part of the outfit for every rifle.

          Optics will be reused from FAMAS.


          • #6
            The current FAMAS rifles will be kept btw, and will equip the newly reestablished French National Guard and its about 84,000 reservist soldiers.


            • #7
              1er RTir and 13 DBLE are both receiving HK416F starting since yesterday as the first units to be equipped with it. These initial deliveries - 150 and 250 rifles respectively - are mostly for initial training, and are distributed by 2e RMat who got them from HK last month. As I understand it the bulk for these units would arrive by September.

              Initial distribution planning:

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              The numbers - 660 for those regiments to get a "full package" by the end of the year - look a bit low for me, given that with the most recent transformation, French infantry regiments each have five active infantry companies, two other active companies and one reserve company and somewhere around twice that number in soldiers.
              Last edited by kato; 14 Jun 17,, 17:29.