Heckler and Koch has won a major victory against the German government this week, regarding the sale of G36 assault rifles to Saudi Arabia. In the mid-2000s, Heckler and Koch sold tooling for the G36 to the Saudi government capable of producing 14,000 rifles per year. However, in 2008 the German government prevented the manufacture of rifles in that country without the exclusive production in Germany of five key components, without which the rifles could not be assembled. The company requested to export 28,000 rifle components and replacement parts to Saudi Arabia in 2013, but the government did not respond, resulting in the lawsuit from Heckler and Koch.
Before 2013, export licenses were granted to H&K for the rifles, but that year the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) stopped answering export license requests due to concerns about instability in the Middle East. The judge presiding over the H&K lawsuit rejected this reasoning, asking (paraphrased translation) “since when has the region been stable?” However, the judge did not grant the company’s request to force the BAFA to grant the export license; therefore, the BAFA is now forced to make a decision, but they may still reject the request. It seems likely that H&K will file suit again if they do reject it.
Thanks to Daniel for the tip, and to Mike for help with translation!