France to acquire Heckler & Koch’s HK416 assault rifle

26 September 2016 (Last Updated September 26th, 2016 18:30)

France’s Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) has awarded a contract to Heckler & Koch to provide HK416 assault rifle for the French Army.

France’s Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) has awarded a contract to Heckler & Koch to provide HK416 assault rifle for the French Army.

Heckler & Koch's HK416 will replace the FAMAS assault rifle that is currently in service with the French military, and is no longer produced.

Known initially as the 'Arme Individuelle Future' (AIF), the HK416 is a variant of the battle-proven HK416 A5 assault rifle, Heckler & Koch said in a statement.

The HK416 A5 features a tool-less gas regulator for suppressors, as well a redesigned, user-friendly lower receiver that allows ambidextrous operation and optimises magazine compatibility.

"The HK416 A5 features a redesigned, user-friendly lower receiver that allows ambidextrous operation and optimises magazine compatibility."

Selected after a technical evaluation, the weapon will be available in two variants with different barrel lengths for army, navy and air force personnel.

The HK416 is produced in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany, using specialised French steel that enhances the weapon's robustness, according to Heckler & Koch.

The 15-year contract will see the company supplying up to 102,000 5.56mm x 45mm Nato rifles, 10,767 40mm  x 46mm grenade launchers, ammunition, spare parts, support services and accessories.

The assault rifle can be fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher to increase its firepower.

Deliveries by Heckler & Koch are expected to begin in 2017.


Image: Heckler & Koch's HK416 will replace the FAMAS assault rifle that is currently in service with the French military. Photo: courtesy of French Ministry of Defence.