The French confirm, Heckler & Koch confirms. And now it is clear: the future of the French Army is German. HK416F is going to be the new standard weapon and will replace the FAMAS which has been used since the 1970s. 102.000 guns in the calibre of 5,56 mm x 45 NATO and 10.767 grenade launcher (HK2969F) in the calibre of 44 mm x 46 are also sold. Additional accessories, ammunition, various components, as well as services with a running time of 15 years will also arrive with the new rifle.

Heckler & Koch managed to succeed against Fabrique Nationale from Belgium, HS Produkt from Croatia, SIG Sauer from Eckernförde in Germany, and Beretta from Italy. But what is so special about the newHK416F service weapon for soldiers in every arm of the services (army, air force and navy) in the French army that will be established as of 2017? Udo Lücken from PMA-ODAL did some research for SOFREP on the data of the new French standard weapon:

hk416f-s_hk269f

The variation HK416F is based on the HK416A5 and can be used by left and right handed shooters. The clasp and the linkage of the HK416F is a gas pressure loader system which is similar to the AR-15 by Colt. The weapon will be delivered to the French army in the variations HK416F-S (standard, 14.5” –pipe/368 mm) and HK416F-C (commando, 11”-pipe/279 mm) in the ground color black (for missions in arid terrain with the color concept RAL8000).

The weapon features a cold-hammered barrel with six grooves and a right hand spin. With a magazine capacity of 30 cartridges (or optional 20 round magazine) the HK416F corresponds to the NATO standards. The shot modes are safe, single fire, and auto, and they can be adjusted on both sides. The theoretical shot cadence is about 850 per min. 

hk416f-s

The total length of the HK416F can be changed by adjusting the shoulder stock support from 741 mm to 842mm (C-commando) or from 831mm to 931mm (S-standard version) for every soldier as he needs it. The weapon has a width of 77 mm (without attachments) and a height of 253 mm (without sight help). Therefore, it is comparatively slim and easy to grip. The S-version has an empty weight of 3.755 g; the C-version is slightly lighter with a weight of 3.450 g. Even though the HK has an open flip up sight, it also has sufficient capacity for further options caused by the numerous Picatinny rails. The sight distance is 340m and gives the possibility for precise fire. 

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Besides France, also Norway has already made the HK416 their standard weapon. Even the army’s Commando special forces (KSK) and the antiterrorism unit, the border protection group 9 (GSG9), are using the HK416. Experts are already saying that the gun is the successor to the army’s G36. Further user countries are Czech (Special Forces), the Netherlands (Korbs Commandotroepen) and Poland (GROM). In the United States of America the HK416 can be found amongst the members of Delta Force, DEVGRU, and the US Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group as well as at the Marine Corps in a modified version M27 (infantry Automatic Rifle) as an light machine gun.

This article originally appeared on Spartanat.com

Heckler & Koch: www.hecker.koch.com

The French Army: www.defense.gouv.fr/terre