The woes continue for famed gunmaker Heckler & Koch. Apparently, the Bundeswehr’s procurement of the new HK121 7.62x51mm machine gun, designated MG5, has been delayed significantly, though the reasons why are vague. DW.com reports:
According to the Bundeswehr’s original plans, shipments of the MG5 (pictured above) were supposed to begin two months ago. A German military spokesman announced Sunday that the machine guns won’t be ready until next year, confirming a report in the “Bild am Sonntag” weekly newspaper that said “serious delays” were to be expected.
The MG5 is made by the defense manufacturing company Heckler & Koch, the most prolific German weapons maker, and is set to become the Bundeswehr’s standard-issue machine gun. The defense ministry has ordered 12,733 units, with a price tag of some 200 million euros ($222 million).
Issues with the MG5 surfaced in May, with reports of inaccuracy floating around German political circles.
According to Tobias Lindner, the Green party’s federal defense expert, a Bundeswehr appraisal said the machine gun was only “conditionally fit” for use in combat. The defense ministry rejected that claim, however, announcing merely that “requests for changes have been made and these must be addressed.”
Reports of the MG5 having poor accuracy may be due to a number of factors. Without further information, we can only guess that the “political circles” may be confusing one gewehr (the Maschinengewehr 5) for another gewehr (the Gewehr 36), that they may be confused as to the level of expected accuracy of a GPMG, or that, in my opinion the least likely case, the MG5 actually does have accuracy problems at this stage of development.
The HK121 was beat out in a Danish competition recently, losing to the US Ordnance M60E6, an updated variant of the Vietnam-era M60 “Pig” 7.62mm GPMG.