The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has taken delivery of the initial batch of 400 HK416 F assault rifles for the French Army.
The weapon was selected as part of the Individual Weapon of the Future programme, which seeks to replace the FAMAS assault rifle that has been in service with the French armed forces since the late 1970s.
It was chosen following months of evaluation and testing, 54 days of firing during which 190,000 bullets were fired from the rifle.
In September 2016, a consortium comprising Heckler & Koch France and Heckler & Koch was awarded a contract by the DGA for the supply of HK416 F rifle.
The contract was awarded through a Europe-wide competitive process. The proposals received were short-listed and evaluated by DGA, along with the armed forces.
This deal helped strengthen the ties between Germany and France in the defence and in particular their arms industry.
The HK416 F assault rifle, which is chambered for the Nato 5.56 mm round, is capable of firing rifle grenades.
It can also be fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher to increase its firepower and is expected to gradually replace all the FAMAS in service with the three services.
The contract covers the delivery of 102,000 HK416F 5.56mm x 45 Nato assault rifles, 10,767 HK269F 40mm x 46 grenade launchers, accessories, ammunition, spares and support services.
Deliveries under the contract will continue for more than ten years.