Will France and Germany Adopt a Unified Weapon? Heckler & Koch Poised to Take European Rifle Market

The HK416F variant adopted by the French Army. Note the specialized bayonet lug apparently designed for launching rifle grenades. Image source: sofrep.com

The HK416F variant adopted by the French Army. Note the specialized bayonet lug apparently designed for launching rifle grenades. Image source: sofrep.com

France has just adopted the HK416 as its new standard infantry rifle, replacing the FAMAS, and Germany is on a path to a new weapon, aiming to divest herself of the controversial G36. This raises the question: Will Germany and France adopt a unified arm? These two nations, historically enemies but often partners after the Second World War, could possibly standardize on the excellent Heckler and Koch HK416 rifle, derived from the American AR-15 with the HK-designed male-piston short stroke high strength operating rod. Polish writer Remiguisz Wilk, writing for IHS Jane’s writes a short report:

France and Germany are planning to renew talks about selecting a common individual weapon for their armed forces.

A discussion between Germany’s defence procurement office (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr – BAAINBw) and the French defence procurement agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement – DGA) regarding the technical specification of France’s future individual weapon (Arme Individuelle Future – AIF) started in 2015. However, the talks were terminated in late 2015 during the final phase of the French AIF tender to avoid any possible compromising of the ongoing competition.

With the French contract in the bag, and the HK416 being the overwhelming front-runner for the G36 replacement, it seems downright likely that both nations will end up using some sort of variants of the Oberndorf Armalite derivative. This makes the idea of the two nations standardizing on the same variant or similar variants of the HK416 extremely attractive, if the countries can agree on what requirements the rifle needs to meet.

In fact, I would go so far as to speculate a tripartite rifle adoption: The SA80 rifle of the United Kingdom is showing its age, and a replacement will be needed sooner rather than later. It was Heckler and Koch that revitalized the troubled L85A1 rifles into their modern, much better functioning A2 standard, and the firm has held a close relationship with British law enforcement and special forces through sales of MP5s and MP7s.

Could Heckler and Koch secure contracts with three of the important nations in Western Europe? It doesn’t seem that unlikely!



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Ryan

    Seems likely the UK would adopt the C8 rather than the 416 given how much use the C8 has within British forces.

    • Joe

      Canada would be an cheap and easy way to get a DI AR into UK service, but would the 417 be preferable as a more modern design as well as Germany being geographically closer?

      • Minuteman

        I don’t see the Brits revert to 7.62 NATO. They’re budget is already tight, with more cuts on the way. 5.56 is the standard. If I were in charge of NATO’s Class V policy I’d standardize on Mk318 Mod 1, uses 77gr OTM in sitations where it might do more good than SOST, and dump everything else (which could be used as training ammo for as long as current stock lasts)

        • Joe

          Typo, 416. My bad.

          • Minuteman

            Copy

      • Joshua

        UK has a DI AR in the L129A1.

    • ARCNA442

      It might depend on Brexit fallout – if the UK is treated nicely and retains a lot of EU benefits than they get the 416 but if they are shunned by Europe they go C8 or even M4.

      • Minuteman

        Unless MoD presses hard for the G38, which is the superior rifle as long as you stay away from arctic conditions (ask the Norwegian Army why).

        • Holdfast_II

          Since the Royal Marines’ main NATO tasking is the defense of Norway (along with the US Marines and a Canadian brigade) that could be a problem.

          • Minuteman

            The Royal Marines, like all Marines across the globe, are actually a very tiny branch of the force (in fact the smallest). The UK is an Army-dominated military. Everything related to small arms procurement is basically Army’s call.

        • Rob

          The Norwegians seem to like their rifles. What problems?

          • Minuteman

            Its piston cannot cope with the climate and freezes up quickly, rendering the rifle unsuitable for those conditions. I really wonder why the Norwegians didn’t see this coming in their T&E? Wait for Iksnilol to join in on this topic, I’m sure he knows all about the matter.

          • iksnilol

            Well, I joined in.

            Here’s the brief: Just like your ex Sharon, the cold makes everything super awkward.

            So piston or no piston doesn’t really matter, what matters is condensation. IE if you keep a rifle in a hot area, then keep it in the hot area. If you keep it in the cold, then keep it in the cold all the time. Otherwise you get condensation which freezes which buggers up things. Even AKs can get messed up by the cold (though I do remember an Alaskan PD freezing a Galil or Valmet by pouring water into the action, and it still worked). Bottom line is at least: keep one in the chamber and keep the rifle outside in the cold.

            But yeah, Norway is happy with the HKs. They work.

          • Minuteman

            Thanks again. And just keeping them in cool/cold armories is what did the trick? Funny, you’d expect this rifle to work. It has to be able to rapidly transition from one environment to another. Cold and wet into dry and hot and vice versa. (Navy SEALs)

          • iksnilol

            No, you don’t understand.
            ANY rifle messes up when it isn’t kept in one environment at the time.
            AR, AK, AUG, Mauser, all of them act up when condensation sets in. It’s a non-issue if you know what to do.

          • Minuteman

            Yep, that is correct. What I left out I guess is that HK marketed the 416 as the ‘climate/conditions’-independent can do it all super rifle. I thought about mentioning that hype in my comment, but left it out for some reason (oops, brain fart).

          • Uniform223

            SEALs still use the Mk18 M4 variant… and that is a DI (or for those really mechanically nit picky… internal piston)

      • HenryV

        We buy a lot more off the EU countries than we sell them; they can’t afford not to treat us nice never mind there would be breaking WTO rules.

        But it might be a good warning shot across to go for C8!

        I don’t mind either C8 or 416.

        Being anti-EU isn’t the same as being anti-Europe. Most anti-EU’ers are very pro-Europe.

      • Monty01

        UK will stick with SA80 with improved L85A3 model. If US Army adopts a new calibre / weapon system in 2025, UK will follow. If not it will soldier-on with L85A3 in 5.56 mm.

    • Minuteman

      You do realize that’s for political reasons? Unlike Canada, Germany isn’t part of the Commonwealth.

      • Mr Mxyzptlk

        I think it is unfair to say that the choice of the Diemaco rifle is purely political. Bear in mind then when British special forces first adopted Diemacos in the 90s there wasn’t really all that much choice on commercial AR variants, and Diemaco made a better product than Colt. If they could get a competitive price because of pre-existing relationships, that is a bonus.

        Other contenders for an AR platform that the UK might addopt would be an
        LMT or SIG as both of those see significant use with British police
        forces. I think the L119A2 with the 16″ barrel would be the most likely choice however. To be honest though, I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to
        develop a modernised version of the SA80 series using a polymer receiver
        or something like that. The British military likes marksmanship so approves the L85s 20 inch barrel, but a non bullpup rifle with a barrel that long wouldn’t fit inside most of our vehicles.

        • Minuteman

          True!

          For the love of God, stay away from SIG Sauer rifles. Utter junk. Hmm, you Brits can’t let go of the bullpup concept, don’t you? I’d suggest waiting on the MDR for that matter. Then again, Desert Tech is a very small vendor. You might want to look at the X95 upgraded with Geissele Sabra Gen 2 w/ Lightning bow trigger instead. Beware of it’s teething problems in the accuracy realm though… I don’t know what IWI were thinking before launching this pos on the US market…

          • iksnilol

            Or just go with an AUG.

            Can’t go wrong with an AUG if you want a bullpup. That and Australia has that new fancy improved version.

          • Minuteman

            I actually like the AUG [NATO A3] quite a bit. It’s the controls I hate though. Bolt and mag release (doesn’t drop free) are weird and it isn’t exactly accurate. I don’t mind the mushy, spongy trigger -in fact I like it- but what I utterly hate about this gun is the safety selector. That is a no-go for me. All things considered, it’s one sexy rifle though.

    • John

      Merry old England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland would adopt whatever the hell THE FREEDOM-LOVING UNITED STATES OF KICKASS would adopt.

      We’ve got Colt. We’ve got Remington. We’ve got FN USA (not that Belgium crap, but REAL guns made in South Carolina!) We’ve got Daniel Defense. We’ve got Lewis Machine and Tool. We’ve got Ruger. We’ve got Smith and Wesson. We’ve got BCM, PSA, Spike’s Tactical and Larue Arms, and about 5,000 other AR-15 manufacturers that could create something or other for the UK armed forces.

      They don’t HAVE to stick with Heckler and Koch for anything..

      • Minuteman

        You do realize that actually only a handful of US companies have the capacity large enough to fill a govt order? DD, Ruger, BCM, PDS, Spike’s and LaRue don’t fit that bill. So you’re basically stuck with the big 4: Colt, FN (which holds 50% of the current contract and does a lot of outsourcing from Colt, as they’re in pretty troubled waters right now), Springfield and Remington. All FN’s “crap” IS Belgian, as all innovation and design actually does come from Belgium… FN America is just the US based 2nd plant.

        • John

          Actually… Lewis Machine and Tool just outfitted the New Zealand forces, and Daniel Defense already provided an AR-10 version to the UK, AND created the current rail system on their SA-80.

          So. Gun manufacturers are stepping up their manufacturing game. A lot.

          • Rob

            The entire New Zealand defense force is about 11,000 personnel. Not a good example to show any type of production capacity. And it was LMT that delivered the 308 to the Brits. Not Daniel defense.

          • John

            …that just proves my point. It’s not 20 or even 10 years ago; these guys CAN deliver on government contracts.

          • Rob

            11,000 is not the same as 100,000. Not even close.

          • Minuteman

            Slowly but steadily. Not nearly there though, not even close.

          • Minuteman

            Sure, but the NZDF is negligible in the size though. Hardly a good example. Of course I’m all for American industry to expand. LWRC is a solid outfit as well, just like LMT. Same thing goes for PWS (the cream of the crop, hands down).

          • GD Ajax

            A small country like NZ doesn’t count as a major buyer.

        • ARCNA442

          2014 Rifle production (from ATF report):
          Remington: 930,000
          Ruger: 710,000
          S&W: 160,000
          Colt: 60,000
          Springfield: 50,000
          SIG: 43,000
          Century: 33,000
          Windham: 27,000

          Daniel Defense: 16,000
          FN: 12,000
          BCM: 7,000
          LMT: 2,300

          I’m pretty sure this doesn’t include military orders or foreign sales.

      • iksnilol

        Colt = just no
        Remington = worse than Colt (Colt is overpriced, but at least works somewhat)
        FN USA = just like any American version of an European company, it is most likely to bring dishonor (IE refer to SIG USA).
        Ruger = if you want everything to be about a kilogram heavier than it needs to be
        Larue = if you want raceguns and got the budget to replace HMMWS with gold plated Lamborghinis

        • Joshua

          How does FN USA bring dishonor?

          They’re killing it with their order of M4A1’s, which are by far some of the nicest issue weapons I have seen from a fit and finish stand point.

          Not only that but they’re delivering the M4A1’s for right around $650 per rifle.

          • iksnilol

            Just give them the time, that’s how they do it. They’re gonna make you love them, then BAM! They kill your dog, take the house and kids and throw you out on the street.

          • Minuteman

            Like they took away the FS2000, made that SCAR non-reciprocating charging handle version suddenly disappear and what have you not.

          • Minuteman

            Meh, Lima is all hype and you actually gain very little. I can’t believe the Doggies are actually wasting money on it. Bravo is fine. I’d rather replace the M249 with the Negev NG7 at the Infantry Squad level because it’s more manoeuvrable than both the Lima and Bravo, and hence more suitable for use at that level, while retaining the M240B at the Weapons Squad and Company Weapons Platoon levels. But I have very different views on force planning and infantry deployment tactics than the current establishment tables.

          • Uniform223

            I always drool over the Negev. It can be built fed but is also happy being magazine fed. It also has semi-auto feature which is good when/if you want to employ it more like a rifle than a full auto SAW/MG.

          • roguetechie

            It’s actually a modern improved version of the Stoner 86 which had the benefit of LOOOOTTSS of development by some companies that don’t Eff around with marginal products.

            P.s. As of this year they’re also offering it’s big brother version in full up 7.62×51.

          • Uniform223

            I know people don’t like him but I am waiting for a video where Larry Vickers show cases them. After all he seems pretty close to KAC in some regards.

          • roguetechie

            Honestly I’d watch a video with Joe biden test firing the kac LMG and MMG

          • Uniform223

            I wouldn’t go that far but I really want to see it

          • Minuteman

            The Negev 5.56 is just as unreliable a pos as is the M249. The Negev I was referring to (the NG7) is a beast though and would be my first choice for a squad level LMG/SAW whatever. With the 240s filling the platoon weapons squads and the MG squads in the company weapons platoons.

        • A Fascist Corgi

          According to Battlefield Vegas (one of the most popular gun ranges in the world), the Colt M4 is one of the most reliable AR-15s in the world. The AR-15s made by Daniel Defense and LMT (which most people consider to be vastly superior to Colt) only last about 20,000 rounds before the bolt carrier groups start to crack. In comparison, the Colt M4s last about 60,000 rounds before the bolt lugs start to shear off.

          • Uniform223

            I live in Vegas and no disrespect to that place but it is a tourist trap… mainly for Europeans and Canadians.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            Doesn’t change the fact that they run their rifles on a full auto all day every day. They’re the single best source for firearm durability that’s available to civilians.

          • Uniform223

            “They’re the single best source for firearm durability that’s available to civilians.”

            I guess…

          • n0truscotsman

            The details are what is important.

            DD and LMT (and PSA and some others I cant remember off the top of my head) will function well *outside* the scheduled replacement round count for bolts. This is a good thing and is a compelling case IMO for Car. 158 bolts for your fighting rifle.

            They had a Colt bolt last in the ballpark of 60k rounds.

            This means that with a military specification bolt, they should perform a percentage above the bolt replacement schedule, no problem.

    • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

      having seen the UKSF upgraded C8s from close up, what an amazing rifle!!!
      flanker7

  • Yuki Mikazuki

    Europe is in fact owned by German companies, therefore standardization based on German small arms is just a question of time.

    • Minuteman

      Don’t underestimate Sweden. Their defense industry is also strongly positioned.

      • john huscio

        They don’t make small arms.

        • Minuteman

          But they make a wide array of other stuff, that’s what I meant.

    • User

      No it wont take long and Heckler&Koch rifles get in the trashcan when Textron AAI’s weapons are adopted. This, is just a matter of time…
      H&K does NOTHING in rifle innovation anymore… And thats why theyr screwed in the future in this area. Only theyr M25 will make sence to buy, after they make a lighter variant.

      • andrey kireev

        *They’re, Their.

      • iksnilol

        “HK doesn’t innovate, except for that really innovative cool gun”.

        Wut?

    • joe tusgadaro

      Yeah, ok.

  • LazyReader

    Rifle grenades while still standardized by the barrel designs of NATO, are largely outmoded. Grenade launchers have largely replaced the need for 22mm grenade adapters. M203 is cheaper than the M320 (by a third of the cost)!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Minuteman

      Raytheon Pike, Milkor SuperSix and B&T GL06 definitely hold the future.

  • Minuteman

    If they actually get things right, it can be done pretty much within the Eurpean market and the rifle might become the Franco-German standard.

    G38
    LLM-01
    B&T foregrip or FAB T-pod G2
    Aimpoint Comp M4S w/ 3x or Zeiss 4x30i Gen2 reticle w/ overhead Zeiss Z point
    HK high reliability magazine or FAB Ultimag Smartload
    FAB AG43 or AGR43 pistol grip
    FAB GL-Shock CP stock
    Geissele HK416 trigger
    As for standardizing on ammo, to hell with the Hague Treaty and go for 69gr BTHP and 77gr OTM. Or they might just get European industry to acquire a license to start manufacturing Mk318 Mod 1 and standardize on that single round.

    Overall it’s nice to see that the AR platform is slowly but surely taking over pretty much the entire Western world. It was long overdue and now they finally see the light.

    • User

      Rather would like to see EPR projectiles. Better penetration and actually better fragmenting range. Also ive seen tests where mk318 did nearly icepicked and expanded way to late.

      • Minuteman

        We don’t need an “EPR”, because the 5.56 sucks for that purpose anyway. I’d rather use something in the .308/.50 range for slamming through barriers. Or better: Pike/grenade launchers. Al depends on the available budget.
        What version was that? Mod 0 or Mod 1? The initial teething problems of Mk318 were rectified with the Mod 1 version, which is now standard USMC issue. That round can reach out and touch someone at 600m man, no joke. It is amazing how far 5.56 has actully come. No more need for SPC, Grendel, BLK and what not. I wish Mk318 Mod 1 was actually available on the commercial market at a reasonable price point, but we’re stuck with what is basically the junk ammo (unless you’re a billionaire).

        • Ron

          The Marine Corps has not decided on a replacement round for the M855.

          • Uniform223

            From my understanding what they are using now is a stop gap until Congress orders them or they swallow their pride and adopt the M855A1 EPR.

          • Ron

            It has nothing to do with Congress, all the Depts have the authority to purchase ammo that they believe they need to meets their needs.

            The Marine Corps has said it will eventually adopt the M855A1 when the problems are solved, however it has been 6-7 years since that decision but the fixes have not been made, hence there is Mk318 mod 2 silver bullet as a contender as well as the M855A1

          • Uniform223

            From understanding (again) the problems they (USMC) didn’t like was from earlier test versions of the M855A1 . The round has been in service with the U.S. Army since 2011. Most if not all problems or issues of the M855A1 has since been resolved.
            Also Congress can intervene, they’ve done it before. Look at the F-22.

          • Ron

            Congress can do many things (which many are ignored anyway), but generally is not that far into the weeds when comes to something that amounts to only 26M dollars in procurement in FY16. Also combat ammunition normally does not come from service procurement, unless like in the case of Mk318 mod O in AFG, when the Marine Corps wanted something other than M855 for carbine that being provided by combatant commander. The reason service procured ammunition is important however, is they train with it and in the case of the rifles sights are calibrated for one specific ammo, and than if they get into a combatant commanders AOR and provided something different could cause some issues.

        • iksnilol

          I dunno, EPR might be necessary since most folks don’t mind shooting through barriers and most folks are armed with 5.56.

          • Minuteman

            As I said yesterday, the 5.56 round is inherently inadequate for that purpose. Basically, it sucks. You actually do need a heavier round to shoot through barriers. This is a very hard lesson learned in Somalia, Irak etc.
            .22 (aka .223 Remington, 5.56 SOST, 5.56 NATO etc) is excellent in open terrain where you have clear fields of fire, and with the proper ammo it can cover quite some distance. .30 (aka 7.62×39/51/54 etc) is ideal for use in built up areas, forests etc. aka accidented/dense terrain.

          • iksnilol

            I agree completely. But try to get NATO to switch away from 5.56?

            I mean, you’re more likely to… I dunno, cure cancer or something.

          • Minuteman

            NATO can piss up a rope for all I care. I wouldn’t be surprised if the President elect decides to pull out, I’d gladly welcome it, isolation, finally! Anyways, politics….
            What I want in the 5.56 realm is for the top of the bill versions to be widely available on the civie market at reasonable prices, that’s all I care about in all honesty. I want to be able to get my hands on Mk318 Mod 1. It’d be my AR load of choice hands down.

  • John

    >”Will Germany and France adopt a unified arm?”

    Yes.

    >”Will FN wake up and release a SCAR Mk. 2 in time to save themselves?”

    No.

    >”Could Heckler and Koch secure contracts with three of the important nations in Western Europe?”

    Maybe.

    • Minuteman

      I think the little boys of Europe will eventually go the G38 road as well. Holland, Denmark. Their tier one already uses older 416 variants and their small arms inventory is scheduled for replacement soon anyway. Norway will definitely not go along with any such upgrade as their experience with the 416 has been far from ideal. Iksni, are you there?

      • iksnilol

        Norway isn’t getting rid of their HKs as far as I know.

        They allegeldy experienced some initial issues with the stock version, got those fixed and are rolling with their slightly modified version. Just like they did with the AG3 (Norwegian G3).

        • Minuteman

          Thanks Iksni. Roger that. What did you guys exactly do to make the 416 work, and is upgrading the current 416 fleet to the G38 in the works?

          • iksnilol

            I am not in the military by the way. Do know some mil guys, there weren’t really any issues reported. Issues that happened was because military didn’t want the guns to be maintained on user level (IE gas regulator popping due to mil not wanting users to clean that part) and ammo issues (environmentally friendly ammo had different characteristics which screwed some parts).

          • Minuteman

            It’s okay bro. I just asked for you to step in because you’re Norwegian and therefore inherently more familiar with the Norwegian Army than the rest of us.

          • iksnilol

            Issues it had was something about HK changing steel suppliers early on and the green ammo being hotter.

            That was the only issues and were rectified quickly.

          • Minuteman

            Thanks for clearing that up.

          • iksnilol

            Imma be honest, I don’t like the HK ( not a fan of AR ergos in general) but the thing works well. Y’know, just like you’ve got angry vets begrudgingly admitting that AKs can actually hit stuff when you know how to use one. I do the same in regards. Dislike the bloody thing, but it works and I do recommend them to people I know in the US wanting a decent HD firearm.

          • Minuteman

            To each their own, of course. I’m not a fan of bullpups at all for that matter.My back just starts to hurt after a while because there’s no variable length of pull, and it’s just an odd ball when prone. I don’t like having to actually break visual contact/disrupt the shooting stance because it instantly kills SA. But it sure has merit in short term CQB work. I wouldn’t hesitate As for the G3, I don’t like it because the charging handle is in a retarded spot, but it sure packs a punch.

          • iksnilol

            The Norwegian Handcannon I’ve heard it allegedly called.

            But to each their own, some people like the AG charging handle for instance. Others hate it. Just adapt. It’s a rifle, not a space ship. Pull trigger, people who want to hurt you don’t wanna suddenly.

          • SP mclaughlin

            AG3s are still used by the national guard or w/e its called in Norway, right? I might be thinking of the Ak4 in Sweden though.

          • iksnilol

            Its still in use by the home guard. Though they’re supposed to be changing as well.

        • KviteKrist

          As a lefty I cant say I feel the improvement over the G3. More flimsy overall, hard to reach bolt release (I think I could slap the G3 handle almost as fast) and idiotic mag release. But who cares about the leftys :/

          • iksnilol

            SHUSH! You can’t say anything bad about AR ergos, they’re the superiorest according to Americans.

            Sånn helledussan mann, du kan ikkje berre sei at amerikansk “ergonomi” er noko herk. Herre Jesus asså’.

          • Uniform223

            I’ll say it… The ergonomics of the AR are better than the AK. *looks for the the nearest cover and concealment from the avtomat Kalashnikov squad*

          • CommonSense23

            If you are complaining about the AR, it’s very lefty friendly.

      • len

        Special forces will adopt the HK416 but not the standard infantry. The reason being counter insurgency is now the major form of warfare (in cities) and being able to tell who is friend or foe often comes down to the weapon. (which are harder to fake than uniforms)
        This is the same stance taken by many countries. Most notably Australia with it’s very distinct EF88 rifle for standard infantry and the M4 for special forces.
        For this reason Britain adopting the EF88 for standard infantry is not unlikely.

        • Minuteman

          I beg to differ. What we are facing now are hybrid spectrum threats. The whole COIN, regime change and nation building concept has failed miserably. Hybrid warfare is the name of the game. Daesh right now, Hezbollah in 2006.
          I don’t think the Brits would adopt the EF88, C8 stands a bigger chance. The AR platform is pretty much taking over the entire Western military world. It’s a professional’s weapon. There is a reason why so many countries have adopted it or are in the process of doing so, and special forces prefer it.

          • mann

            Russia was pretty successful in Crimea and to come Syria, who cares about Hezbollah? (israel excepted)

      • Michael

        The Netherlands (Holland is a province!) aren’t going anywhere with their ARs, they’ve just had a rather extensive update program.

    • iksnilol

      Would stiffle the variety in future civil wars and whatnot… but it’d be easy on logistics. So yeah, I don’t mind.

    • Monty01

      >”Will Germany and France adopt a unified arm?”

      No.

      >”Will FN wake up and release a SCAR Mk. 2 in time to save themselves?”

      No.

      >”Could Heckler and Koch secure contracts with three of the important nations in Western Europe?”

      They already have: UK, France and Germany.

  • John

    >”The HK416F variant adopted by the French Army. Note the
    specialized bayonet lug apparently designed for launching rifle
    grenades.”

    Wait, what?

    TFB, we need an indepth analysis of what the HK416 – F actually is and does.

    • Rob

      It allows a Nato rifle grenade to fit over the muzzle and seal over the barrel. The french remain large users of rifle grenades.

      • Minuteman

        Funny the French and Belgians are the only ones left to use rifle grenades. Even the Israeli’s did away with them a long time ago and the IDF must be one of the most archaic militaries in the Western world.

        • ARCNA442

          Japan still uses rifle grenades as well.

          • Minuteman

            When was the last time the JGSDF actually did something? These guys have no experience whatsoever.

          • iksnilol

            Well, last time they did something they got nuked and firebombed. So maybe a good thing they don’t do much.

          • Minuteman

            I love their Type 89 though. Looks like an FNC clone/derivative. Last summer I got a chance to toy around with an AK5A a bit, and love that rifle as well. Huge FNC-series/look alikes fan here. Same thing goes for the SG550-series for that matter. Oh boy I wishes Wiss Arms would actually export these so us civies could buy them on the commercial market.

          • iksnilol

            I can feel ya. I do have sinful thoughts about that SG 553 R . Just get a short suppressor (like Ase Utra with one of their matching flash hiders QD thingamajig) on that and an Aimpoint (or Zrak 4x with the 7.62×39 reticle).

            Oh how I wouldn’t mind one of those falling of a truck in my AO:

          • Minuteman

            ROGER THAT!

          • FarmerB

            553R – I can let you sniff one.

          • iksnilol

            [Heavy breathing]

            Can… can James watch?

        • menna

          Rifle grenades have armor penetration capability, as well as other loads. Not archaic at all. I wager we will see a comeback of them. Israel is anti-personnel based they aren’t expecting to face any armor. (they have a door breacher rifle grenade though) In addition the concept of a dedicated grenadier is outdated, and everybody is expected to have grenades now which would include more powerful rifle grenades if made available.

          • jono102

            In a practical sense not likely. When the pro’s and cons are weighed up, it explains why the vast majority of countries who have used them in the past, go to an under slung launcher option even if their rifle can take rifle grenades. This includes the Israelis
            1 rifle grenade takes up the same space to carry as at least 3-4 40mm grenades for a soldier to carry.
            In basic fighting order a soldier can easily carry 8 x HE, 2 x smoke and 2 x Illumination 40mm rounds, double this amount is not uncommon.
            The 40mm HEDP (High Explosive Dual Purpose) round is very common now and has pretty good penetration with the shaped charge included in it warhead.
            There is a massive variety of NATO standard 40mm ammunition natures including less than lethal types.
            You can patrol with a 40mm round up the spout and still use your rifle when required, you can’t effectively do this with a rifle grenade fitted.
            Once you’ve fired a rifle grenade, you quickly learn to appreciate the 40mm launcher, look on youtube.

  • MPWS

    Huh, this will put FN into real squeeze. But, they still have machinegun line, don’t they.

    • Minuteman

      FN is highly respected for being a daring and innovative company, but their often gimmicky products don’t do very well commercially. FN should stick to what they do best and heavy/medium machine guns happen to be their signature product….

      • rennsport4.4TV8

        The Sig 552 and 553 rifles are pretty successful on the SWAT/Federal police tactical unit front around the world.

        • Minuteman

          That’s a totally different brand, namely Swiss Arms. Used to be SIG but they branched out a long time ago and consolidated as a solely Swiss owned and operated vendor. SIG (as in: nowadays SIG Sauer) rifles suck.

          • rennsport4.4TV8

            Ok, makes sense. So you are saying even though SIG made the initial rifle; new ones would be made without the participants from the now Swiss Arms that was seperated from SIG. Was the SG550 not made before Swiss Arms existed?

          • Minuteman

            It was indeed. And it is correct that no SIG label is involved with the production of the SG series nowadays. The SG portfolio belongs to Swiss Arms. They are the exclusive manufacturer of that whole series of rifles. SIG Sauer doesn’t have any tooling base to make them. SIG Sauer was basically cut into 3 branches some time ago with Swiss Arms becoming an entirely new company (because the Swiss wanted their own fire arms builder back within their own border), SIG Sauer GmbH becoming the German and relatively minor branch (although a lot of pistol innovation takes place here and is shared with SIG Sauer USA), and SIG Sauer USA became the American and largest of the later two. For the record, Swiss Arms has nothing to do with either Sig Sauer GmbH nor SIG Sauer USA. And the latter two are legally completely seperate businesses. So in conclusion SIG Sauer basically has 2 nationalities but is mostly an American vendor nowadays. Swiss Arms is a whole other company.

  • Kirk Newsted

    So France and Germany may have the same rifle? Awesome. Next time Germany is taking a stroll thru Paris they can pick up French rifles and not worry about logistical issues.

    • Joe

      I’m not abroad or well versed on continental politics, but I don’t think there’s going to be a repeat between those nations in our lifetime. Better question is if 5.56mm adoption by Russia’s neighbors will help logistically in coming conflicts.

      • melan

        Blitzkrieg 2.0

  • GD Ajax

    The HK 416 replacing the G36 is just AR fanboi fantasy and the inkings of one German bimbo.

    The Germany Army and German engineers would never support using the same rifle as the French. HK is already working on a successor to the G36.
    Even if it was the unlikely choice of the G38. it’ll have a whole bunch of changes just because the Bundeswehr will want some extra crap on it.

    • Minuteman

      The only things the G38 needs are better a better stock/grip (which is a relatively minor investment from cost perspective) and the Geissele trigger for it because HK simply doens’t know what the words ‘good trigger’ mean. The stock trigger on all of the 416 derivatives is horrible, and Geissele happens to be the benchmark in the trigger world.

      • GD Ajax

        I didn’t mean the changes would actually be actually good or improve the rifle. HK would never allow a trigger they didn’t build on a rifle they make. Unless they could somehow both charge the other company and the buyer more for it.
        I.e. the CSASS version of the G28.

        • Minuteman

          A trigger swap isn’t rocket science and can be done at the armorer and even end user levels. The contract could arrange for no installation of triggers on the rifles as they’ll be bought from a third party anyway.

          • GD Ajax

            They’ll find a way to make the suppler and the military pay for the “improvement” though.
            It would be less of a hassle to buy the thing as is.

          • Minuteman

            HK has no saying in this whole matter in the first place. As in any commercial transaction it’s the buyer that gets to decide what happens. If the order specifically indicates no trigger, HK will have to oblige as per customer’s wishes. HK are actually really douche and always know better than the end user, they even know better than JSOC. That’s the whole reason I’m not inclined to ever give them my business. You have a good point though avoiding hassle. They could be soled of as surplus somewhere.

        • Uniform223

          Don’t get me started on the CSASS…

      • The Forty ‘Twa

        Good triggers are wasted on a lot of soldiers, certainly a lot of those I served with… Your average grunt doesn’t need the latest and greatest in all honesty.

        • Minuteman

          That is absolutely true. Throwing in a Geissele trigger is just my personal preference.

        • jono102

          Its the same for a lot of shooters in general. Contrary to their personal opinions most shooters ability is far behind that of their rifles and kit. Poor application of marksmanship principles, grouping etc is generally blamed away on the rifle and “Fixed” by a new trigger, rail or new fangled firing position.

  • gunsandrockets

    I think it would be fun to compare the HK416 to the Type 91 of Taiwan. It’s almost as if Taiwan got a 25 year head start on France and Germany.

    😉

    • Minuteman

      What about it? It lacks a completely ambi lower, as opposed to the G38 (which is the current production standard of the HK416).

  • User

    Like i always say. Frontline Rifle replacement, no problem. Overall entire replacement, COMPLETLY stupid. And i will do what i can to prevent this. The HK416 is technically completly outdated since atleast 3decades, like other Rifles. A complete adoption of a new Rifle could only be worth the cost for a huge amount of performance gain, not possible with current metal bottleneck cartridges. We cant do a full scale adoption of an outdated Rifle and than plan to use it for decades!

    • The FAMASes are worn out now, though. How long do you think they would be willing to wait for polymer cased ammunition to get sorted out?

    • Minuteman

      What would you suggest then? What else in Europe (including Israel, from which France will never buy anything in the first place) is there?

      Swiss Arms, Beretta, FN, CZ, Zastava. Those are pretty much the only viable options. FN lost, Zastava I don’t really think so. There’s also B&T but I wouldn’t know about their size/capacity to fill such large orders. So you’re basically down to 3 options:

      * Beretta ARX-160, which makes sense because Italy and France are on very good terms and actually pretty close.

      * SIG550/51, no objections there either. And like Italy, Switzerland is across the boarder as well.

      * Bren 806 2 A1. A NATO ally and EU partner, so ditto.

      Take your pick.

      • joe tusgadaro

        The French buy Israeli kit…they are flying Israeli UAVs in Africa.

        • Minuteman

          I was more specifically talking about fire arms.

          • joe tusgadaro

            Fair enough.

  • Joshua

    Selecting H&K makes logistical sense for a lot of Europe.

    It’s much easier and cheaper to receiver spare parts and weapons from a neighboring country than it is to receive one from a country on the other side of the world.

    This is party of why France wanted EU companies only, Getting parts from North America just takes longer.

    • ARCNA442

      Not if the neighboring country doesn’t bother buying spare parts and the country on the other side of the world is fighting alongside you. Just look at what happened in Libya when the Europeans ran out of bombs.

      • MNOR

        The Norwegians and Danes didnt. Our F16s where about the only ones flying sorties at one point.

  • Riot

    UK would never switch to the 416 if the Germans adopted it. It would be seen as a slide to a European military – something seen in the same light as one of the four horsemen there.

  • Der Fuhrer

    German stuff- you know you want it- everybody does

  • Spike

    Any chance of us ditching the SA80 rests solely on what NATO adopts because of a US adoption (not having a go, just making a point). Till then its 556 and if its 556 there’s no urgent need to replace the SA80… **Crap ergo’s are not an urgent need.**
    Having said that, replacing it with the Desert Tech MDR (if suitable for military use) could be pushed through on the grounds of 762 and 556 needs.

  • Huaba Sepp

    i can’t imagine the uk to adopt a foreing rifle. There is too much national pride for that

    • Minuteman

      Pride is misplaced if you don’t have the means to build a rifle yourself.

      • Huaba Sepp

        Absolutely but they will keep the last Enfield alive as long as they can

        • Minuteman

          How long are they planning on doing that? These rifles are simply worn out and need to be replaced asap. Emotionalism has no place in the military. I don’t believe in all that nationalist jive and holding on to rifles indefinitely purely based on sentiment. Especially when there are much better offerings out there. Like the AR platform for instance 🙂

    • n0truscotsman

      Certain units have been running C8s and G36s for a while, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they eventually decide to.

    • jono102

      But not enough pride to stop paying HK/Germany to fix issues with the L85, that should have never been issues in the first place?

      • Huaba Sepp

        People who don’t know much about firearms generally are not aware of that. The Public will be more concerned when they share a rifle with france and germany

        • jono102

          Those factors rapidly loose any weight when they realize the cost to develop a domestic production capability. This to possibly replace something that was locally made to poor standards and spent millions to get a foreign outfit to bring up to the standard it should have been in the first place.
          Personally I don’t see the Brits replacing the L85, but I think public sentiment there would be just as much anti US than anti Germany.

          • Huaba Sepp

            I’ve seen alot of anti Germany sentiment during the brexit, so i’m not sure about that.
            However it will probably depend on the technological progress in 2025. When the only progress are mounts and optics there is a good chance we will see a L85A4/5(with foreign parts if they have to). If they choose a replacement from europe they definitely prefer FN over HK. So unless HK produces a perfected G11 or better by 2025 they won’t get a contract. This is very unlikely since they already sold the concept and don’t risk much with innovation these days.
            (sorry for my bad english, its not my first language)

  • Raginzerker

    Is the 416 any better than standard ar’s? I know it has the whole piston thing going for it but it seems like everyone’s going back to DI.

    • CommonSense23

      Nope.

      • MNOR

        Commonsense, What advantages is there with a DI that the 416 fails to match, in your experienced opinion? (no sarcasm intended)

        Asking out of curiosity as an issued HK416 user(Norwegian)

        • jono102

          All the current run of quality made AR type platforms (DI and Piston) are pretty “Much of a muchness” in that in a military service rifle context they do what they need to well.
          The likes of the C8 IUR, 416, MARS-L as examples are all very good service rifles and in my experience crap all over the likes of the ARX160 and Bren 806. Which one a military selects would boil down to what they need to get out of it as well as some higher level considerations.
          People tend to get to wrapped up in the hype, PR or civilian marketing/youtube etc than understand what is required in a service rifle and the bits and pieces that make a nation select one over another.

          • MNOR

            Roger that.

            I know that while we’re mostly pleased with the 416’s performance here in Norway(espescially after the recent upgrades to the trigger, gas block and stock), Norwegian SOF generally prefer they’re Ferrarri DI’s(C8 IUR) over the 416, when it comes to fighting carbines.
            As far as I’ve seen, the 416’s are mostly used in the shorty(10,5inch)configuration in those particular communities.

            There was talk about going to the 416A5(G38), but the C8 was a solid enough of a performer that the change probably isn’t warranted.

          • jono102

            As you alluded to, the shorter lengths (under14.5in) is where the 416 starts to offer a degree of an advantage. Short barrelled DI’s are still perfectly functional but the 416 is more flexible (adjustable) and able to vent the “excessive” gas and crap etc found with short barrels and the cans that can go with them. Not an issue with well made/designed 14.5’s and up.

          • MNOR

            Correcion:
            Their* and C8 SFW’s not IUR.

    • Sulyvahn

      -Much more reliable in SBR configuration
      -Cleaner and much easier to clean
      -Better suppressed
      -Can handle sustain full auto significantly longer and better.
      -Over the beach capability
      -Has HK’s CHF barrel and HK makes the best barrel out there.

      Our 416s are more reliable than the DI ARs that we were using and have significantly better/longer parts lifespan, too.

      • Uniform223

        I am not going to try and debunk this because the information is out there. Don’t be sheep, think for yourself.

      • n0truscotsman

        1.) 10th SFG tested the 416 and Mk18 for the “SBR” configuration and found the 416 to be no more mechanically reliable.

        There *IS* is a shred of truth to this, back in the early 2000s before the bugs were completely worked out of the ‘short stoner rifle’ concept (IIRC, the 416 was adopted during the mk18s testing. This is no longer the case however.

        2.) “Cleaner”? the switch from an internal piston to an external one just moves the debris and heat elsewhere. So while the 416 may theoretically produce less residue on the bolt and bolt carrier group, does this really matter from a reliability point of view? the evidence doesn’t support that.

        3.) How is it “better suppressed”? thats a pretty broad statement

        4.) The ‘full auto sustainment’ statement needs evidence to back it up. Theoretically, i would agree with this, since the heat is moved outside the bolt carrier group to the piston group, although, theory often ventures on a differing path than reality.

        5.) OTB superiority is a pretty moot point since the existing M4 can be *easily* fixed to be fire-ready after immersion.

        6.) True. I agree. The 416’s barrel is the strong point in the design. However, does this justify the additional cost per rifle during acquisition?

        Im not convinced the 416 is *superior* than the existing form of M4 carbine or Mk18. Certainly not superior enough to justify the cost. Im not saying its a terrible rifle either, because it certainly isn’t.

        • Sulyvahn

          1. I never heard of such a trial. Some data would help

          2. reduced cleaning time is clearly an advantage. BTW… it’s not “theoretically”, it is a fact that piston run has far less fouling residue on the operating parts and thus make it easier to clearn.

          3. Refer to #2

          4. Again… the HK piston system has proven it can handle sustain full auto far better than any DI system. As the DI gas tube is known to burst under intense full auto. FYI, the G36 (which uses the same piston system has the 416) fired all 900 rounds of drum mags full auto without skipping a beat. They’re not the same rifle, but they do use the same piston system.

          5. No amount of mod can change the fact that water can get into the DI gas tube and cause catastrophic failure if you don’t drain the water first before firing. You do know this right?

          It seems to me like you downplay and dismissed any advantages that the 416 offered, a platform that is very well-proven and has wide spread use, worse you also dismissed end users’ experiences with the platform.

          Firearms are tools, my friend, it’s best to not get so attached to them.

          • n0truscotsman

            1.) “A December 2005 study conducted by the 10th Special Forces Group
            (Airborne), for example, which evaluated the HK416 and Colt’s Close
            Quarters Battle-Receiver (CQB-R), concluded that CQB-R “out performed
            the HK416 in mechanical reliability.”32 Other reports have rendered
            similar conclusions about other possible M4 replacements, including the
            XM8. The Army’s own April 2008 Small Arms Capabilities-Based
            Assessment, carried out to support “a small arms acquisition strategy
            through 2015,” did not fault the M4 carbine, but instead called for
            improvements in ammunition, sights, and optics.33″ http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2010-07/what-really-happened-wanat

            2.) reduced cleaning time is a perk, especially since wiping down and properly lubricating a M4 takes a minimal amount of time. It probably would take longer to get white glove clean, which is entirely irrelevant in a combat environment context.

            Everybody gets wrapped around the axle about carbon fouling, except thats the the root cause of reliability problems

            http://www.defensereview.com/the-big-m4-myth-fouling-caused-by-the-direct-imping ement-gas-system-makes-the-m4-unreliable/

            3.) That doesn’t answer my question. “better” is so generalized, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

            4.) So what?

            In what military context is firing 900 rounds in full auto relevant for a infantryman’s individual rifle?

            And where is this data that the 416 can do this?

            5.) You do know how water is cleared from a M4, right? its not a lengthy or complicated process LOL

            “worse you also dismissed end users’ experiences with the platform.”

            I have extensive experience with pretty much every commercial and military gas piston retrofit on AR15s, with a few notable rare exceptions of course. I have spent considerable money on gas piston AR15s as a personal curiosity more than anything.

            I also know people from active duty who know a hell of a lot more than I do on the small arms side.

            Nothing indicated by any of those sources and experience has proven to me that the 416 offers any measurably superior characteristics over the M4.

            Yeah they’re proven. So is the M4. So is the G36. And the AK74.

            “it’s best to not get so attached to them.”

            Hey im not the one trying to justify a significantly more expensive rifle than a cheaper M4 that isn’t measurably superior LOL. I love H&K, but not that much.

          • Sulyvahn

            Your link is faulty and cannot be access.

            This make your entire post questionable and scream fanboyism.

            What you’re saying is: OTB (the ability to fire without having to drain the water), significantly easier to clean, works better in SBR, works better with suppressor, and superior full auto capability all don’t count as advantages.

            Strange world you’re living in, friend

            Your use of “LOL” indicate someone who is an internet commando and not someone who really has any experience with either platforms.

            The 416 has wide spread usage and is well respected by many who have used and are using it in harm way.

            For that matter, I’m not going to further debate with someone who is too emotionally attached to certain firearms or operating system.

          • n0truscotsman

            The link works. That is the sourced material, which requires membership. It is also sourced elsewhere, including defensereview.

            “OTB (the ability to fire without having to drain the water),
            significantly easier to clean, works better in SBR, works better with
            suppressor, and superior full auto capability all don’t count as
            advantages.”

            No, re-read what I read again

            My argument was that the 416 is not measurably better at those things in particular than the M4.

            Not that the M4 is superior to the 416 in those aspects.

            The reason why it was amusing to me is that you seem to believe OTB capability is some magical new breakthrough in firearms, when the technique to make a M4 fireable again is stupid simple.

            Now I know the 416 is in wide use around the world, and, IMO, its a reliable, robust, and accurate rifle. Yet superior to the M4 (especially current generations), it is not.

            You accuse me of fanboyism (when im an AK fanboy, ironically enough) , when you are fiercely defending the 416 using the same talking points common among ‘replace the m4 now!’ fans. and I couldn’t care less I suppose.

      • Huer

        416s have to be prepped for Over the Beach, just like M4s.

    • n0truscotsman

      No

      Its not any more reliable and is more expensive. Current generation M4s are a tough nut to crack.

  • ndss

    But isn’t it the case that after condensation disables the rifle it requires a deep disassembly to make operable again? In other words it wasn’t designed for the cold and is a pretty big handicap if operating almost exclusively in the cold.

  • Rob

    Swiss Arms a la the 550 is not Sig Sauer.

  • J. Murphy

    Another OICW, because those kinds of project never end up being huge wastes of time and money.

  • anonymouse

    “It was Heckler and Koch that revitalized the troubled L85A1 rifles into their modern, much better functioning A2 standard, and the firm has held a close relationship with British law enforcement and special forces through sales of MP5s and MP7s.”

    This is a bit revisionist, HK were involved because they had been bought by BAE which then merged much of what had been the UK-govt firearms factories and capabilities into H&K. So yes the A2 work went to H&K, but actually it was going to the same factories that designed and built the L85A1. Since then BAE sold off H&K and the picture has changed, but at the time it was all the same thing.

    • Spike

      Not quite true, only a small token amount was done at Nottingham, most of the work was (and still is) done in Germany. BAe sold HK round 2002 with much of the upgrades still to be done.

      • anonymouse

        My understanding was that the design work on the A2 enhancements was all still done in Nottingham, but happy to be corrected if that’s not the case 🙂

        • Spike

          From what I’ve read, Nottingham only did a small bit of physical work – Basically prepping the rifles for transport.
          Unfortunately I don’t know of any web resources to point you to.

  • Minuteman

    You know, to be really honest with ya, I don’t care for the military in general, and certainly not for obsolete or any light forces because scaling up is simply impossible. Daesh is a >STANAG5 threat, so you don’t pitch light forces against them. You need tanks and IFV’s in that scenario. Dismounted infantry isn’t all that important anymore. Armor is the backbone of every ground engagement. It’s not about taking and holding ground anymore (for which you need Infantry). It’s about quick elimination, getting the job done and going home.

  • Minuteman

    Mother of God, another monstrosity…

  • Minuteman

    They’re neither junk nor heavy. SG series is not made bij SIG Sauer USA or GmbH, but by Swiss Arms, a solid outfit in the rifle realm, you can’t exactly tell the same about SIG Sauer.

  • Yea forbidden topic here—–

    • Minuteman

      And rightly so! Hence my cynical final remark.

    • n0truscotsman

      We can always start talking about religion….

      😉

  • Minuteman

    Exactly. I’m disgusted with all these Mad Max vehicles. The whole world has become obsessed with countering IEDs so much it forgot how to actually fight a real war. Things like Jackals and other featherweight absurdities won’t survive against Daesh’s 57mm cannons and captured M1A1s…. I’m serious man, these guys are packing. Daesh aren’t your average local gun men but a tremendously dangerous hybrid force. Even worse than Hezbollah used to be. Nothing ‘light’ or dismounted will cut it against this lot. You need the heavy iron backed up by significant joint effects to get rid of a threat of this magnitude. No amount of ‘excellent riflemanship’ will cut it, nor will any ‘level of skill’. You need to scale up.

    • n0truscotsman

      Light forces are okay, IMO, but they’re doing it all wrong.

      There is a disturbing lack of firepower for many of these forces, because we’ve grown dangerously complacent in always having indisputed air support and CAS assets.

      UCAVs and Multi-Role Fighter CAS are fantastic when they arrive, although, until they get there, and when they are winchester headed back to re-arm, the timeframe might as well be an eternity if you need them.

      There is no light armor, no mobile gun systems, and a lack of self-propelled mortars, howitzers, and verticle launch missile platforms that can add substantially higher firepower to ‘light’ forces. I guess the only ‘expeditionary’ firepower upgrade is the towed/air sling-capable M777.

      I guess if you “need’ that much firepower, wait for heavy Cav and all the gloriousness that ensures.

      The Army only *recently* (I mean, recently) started fielding a limited number of Strykers with 30mm. They are contemplating an updated XM8 Buford (BAE). Both long overdue.

      • Minuteman

        I graduated for my BA with a thesis that annihilated the whole concept of ‘light forces’ and ‘low-intensity conflict’. The same things you pointed out can be done with heavy iron. ‘Light infantry’ doesn’t work at all. You simply cannot scale up when things go horribly wrong, horribly fast. We learned that through hard lessons in Vietnam and Somalia in particular.

        As for the Stryker, that thing is a monstrosity. I wouldn’t even consider considering relegating them to the National Guard, Reserve or even pass them on to Border Protection. Look in to the ‘Stryker and the reality of war’ report, it can be found on GlobalSecurity.

        With regard to the M777, I agree that arty has been operating pretty much stationary. But 1) that was during the LAST wars, in which we lost the touch with mobility based warfare completely, and 2) the M777 is only capable of 3/3 rounds p/m whereas modern SPHs have a much higher rof. The Buford was a solution to a non-existing problem. If you want to have tanks in theater, bring in MBTs.

        The only ‘light’ forces I can think of that hold relevance in modern warfare (which is hybrid in nature) are your spec ops types and civilian militia. One possible exception might be mountain warfare. I don’t consider Marines to be ‘light’ in nature, as they are a combined arms outfit. All the Marine Corps would have to do to beef up its armored punch is to integrate Army equipment. We don’t need any vehicles with amphibious capability (because we have ship to shore connection means for that task). What we need to do in case we want to be prepared for any kind of event -including having to fight a major symmetric (as in: regular vs regular) war in at least 2 theaters- is to restore our legacy force and rediscover the concept of mobility, of armored warfare -the MBT and the joint effect- because we lost it a long time ago.

        Bottom line: everything <STANAG 5 compliant = NOT capable of escalation dominance whatsoever and is therefore 'dead'. It is with good reason that virtually everywhere across the globe 'light forces' are getting the boot kicked out. The most 'flexible' tool is heavy armor because it can do everything light vehicles can, and more.

  • n0truscotsman

    I wouldn’t put too much confidence in that devise’s future. That has “OICW revision 2.0” written all over it.

    The ‘two guns in one’ monster will continue to haunt military procurement for the indefinite future until the advent of the plasma rifle.