Croatian VHS-2 To Enter French Rifle Competition

    Could the next French rifle be Croatian? Anything is possible, it seems, as Croatian firm HS Produkt has submitted its new VHS-2 rifle to the French government for testing. Unfortunately, machine translation of Croatian to English is significantly ambiguous. Altair.com.pl reports:

    Przetarg na dostawę nowej broni strzeleckiej, określonej mianem AIF (Arme Individuelle Future) został ogłoszony w maju 2014. Agencja zamówień obronnych DGA (Direction Generale de l’Armement) chce w jego ramach kupić, tylko w pierwszej fazie, po 45 tys. subkarabinków (AIF courte) i karabinków (AIF standard) do amunicji 5,56 mm x 45 oraz 8 tys. granatników podwieszanych do naboju 40 mm x 46SR. W ramach tego samego kontraktu Francja zamierza pozyskać 38 mln nabojów 5,56 mm x 45 NATO oraz 92 tys. granatów 40 mm x 46SR. Nowe konstrukcje mają zastąpić wysłużone karabinki FAMAS F1 i G2, przyjęte do uzbrojenia pod koniec lat 1970. (Zmarł twórca karabinka FA MAS, 2014-11-16).

    Francuzi dopuścili do przetargu jedynie podmioty z Unii Europejskiej lub Europejskiego Obszaru Gospodarczego, zastrzegając że muszą tam powstawać albo całe konstrukcje albo ich najważniejsze elementy (lufy, komory zamkowe). Chętni muszą być zdolni do wytwarzania i dostarczania 16 tys. sztuk broni rocznie.

    W warunkach przetargu DGA zastrzegła, że do dalszych testów zostanie wybranych do 5 zgłoszonych konstrukcji. Francuzi zdecydowali się dopuścić do prób: niemieckie karabinki HK416A5, dostarczone przez Heckler & Koch (HK416A5 dla Francuzów, 2012-10-13); belgijskie SCAR-L, wytwarzane przez FN Herstal; chorwackie VHS-K2 i VHS-D2 oferowane przez HS Produkt (Rośnie chorwacki eksport, 2015-02-05; Nowy VHS-2 na ASDA, 2013-04-24); szwajcarsko-amerykańskie MCX (ich premiera miała miejsce na tegorocznym SHOT Show) produkowane przez SIG Sauer; oraz włoskie ARX 160A1 (Fińskie ARX 160?, 2014-11-29; Rozpoczęły się próby karabinków w Indiach, 2014-10-02).

    Każdy z podmiotów ma dostarczyć na swój koszt po 15 konstrukcji strzeleckich w odmianie subkarabinka i karabinka, granatniki, niezbędne akcesoria oraz próbki amunicji. Próby potrwają przynajmniej dwa lata. DGA szacuje termin podpisania umowy na grudzień 2016, a pierwsze dostawy mają rozpocząć się w 2017. Szacuje się, że całkowite zastąpienie obecnie używanych karabinków FAMAS F1 i G2 zajmie 15 lat, a całkowita wartość umowy wyniesie 300 mln euro (1,25 mld zł).

    Tender for the supply of a new arms referred to as AIF (Arme Individuelle Future) was announced in May 2014. The defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) under it wants to buy, but in the first phase, 45 thousand. subkarabinków (AIF courte) and rifles (AIF standard) to 5.56 mm ammunition x 45 and 8 thousand. grenade cartridge-mounted 40 mm x 46SR. As part of the same contract France intends to acquire 38 million rounds of 5.56 mm x 45 NATO and 92 thousand. grenades, 40 mm x 46SR.New designs are to replace worn-out rifles FAMAS F1 and G2, admitted to arming the late 1970s ( the creator died FA MAS rifle , 2014-11-16).

    The French have committed to tender only when the European Union or the European Economic Area, stipulating that there must arise either whole structures or their major components (barrel, chamber castle). Volunteers must be able to produce and deliver 16 thousand. weapons per year.

    In the conditions of the tender DGA claimed that further testing will be selected for the 5 reported structure. The French decided to allow the trial: German rifles HK416A5 provided by Heckler & Koch ( HK416A5 for the French , 2012-10-13); Belgian SCAR-L, manufactured by FN Herstal; Croatian VHS and VHS-K2-D2 offered by HS Product ( Croatian exports is growing , 2015-02-05, New VHS-2 for ASDA , 2013-04-24); Swiss-American MCX (its premiere at this year’s SHOT Show) manufactured by SIG Sauer; and the Italian ARX 160A1 ( Finnish ARX 160? , 2014-11-29, began rehearsals rifles in India , 2014-10-02).

    Each entity is expected to provide at its expense structure of 15 shooting in a variety subkarabinka and rifle, grenade launchers, the necessary accessories and samples of ammunition. Trials will take at least two years. DGA is estimated on the date of signing of the contract in December 2016, and the first deliveries are expected to begin in 2017. It is estimated that the total replacement of the currently used rifles FAMAS F1 and G2 will take 15 years, and the total value of the contract will be 300 million euros (1.25 billion zł) .

    The VHS-2 is the improved version of HS Produkt’s VHS rifle. The VHS-2 has already been ordered by Croatia, but reportedly the first shipments will actually go to the Iraqi government. The effect of ISIS’s occupation of central Iraq on this order is unclear. From Obramba.com:

    Pred nedavnim smo na naši spletni strani povzeli zapis s hrvaškega spletnega portala OBRIS o  podpisu dogovora Ministrstva za obrambo Republike Hrvaške s podjetji hrvaške vojaške industrije. Na svečanosti ob podpisi pogodbe je bilo veliko govora tudi o nadaljevanju opremljanja Hrvaške vojske z hrvaškim ognjenim orožjem – predvsem iz zelo uspešnega obrata karlovškega podjetja HS Produkt, so tokrat zapisali na spletni strani OBRIS.

    Ob tem je minister za obrambo Hrvaške Kotromanović novinarjem pojasnil, da bodo dobave puške VHS-2 (kaliber 5.56x45mm NATO) uskladili z izvoznimi načrti proizvajalca iz Karlovca in dali pred Hrvaško vojsko prednost neki drugi državi. Navedel je tudi količino naročila za Hrvaško vojsko: 20.000 pušk VHS-2 (Višenamjenska Hrvatska Strojnica 2).

    Hrvaška vojska ima trenutno približno 7000 kosov prvotnih izvedenk domače juriške puške VHS-1, si jih bodo pa prizadevali zamenjati z novejšim modelom VHS-2. Ob tem je omenil nekaj časovnih okvirov, na katere pa bodo vplivali izvozni posli hrvaške vojaške industrije. Časovne meje nimajo, dogovorili jo bodo kasneje.

    Željko Pavlin direktor HS Produkta iz  Karlovca pa je poudaril, da so puško VHS-2 dali na trg šele pred nedavnim. Pa ne gre le za izboljšano VHS-1, saj je toliko novosti, da gre skorajda za novo puško, ki bo svetu ponudila precej novosti v segmentu jurišnih (avtomatskih) pušk.

    Člani so skupaj z obrambnim ministrstvom Hrvaške opravili vrsto testiranj, najprej prototipnih orožij, zatem so začeli s serijsko proizvodnjo, potem pa nadaljevali testiranja še s serijskimi puškami. Kot je poudaril Pavlin,  je naročilo Hrvaške vojske zanje zelo pomembno. Vzporedno s tem je HS Produkt z MORH preizkušal VHS-2 tudi v tujini in lani jim je uspelo podpisati pogodbo za prodajo 10.000 pušk tujemu kupci. Kot je v razgovoru kasneje  navedel Željko Pavlin, naj bi bil to Irak. Z VHS-2 bodo prisotni še ne nekaj natečajih za avtomatsko puško v državah v Evropi in izven. Kot je še poudaril, so se na konstrukciji VHS-1 zelo veliko naučili. Tako so velikemu izvoznemu uspehu s serijo pištol HS dodali še puško VHS-2.

    We recently on our website summarized record of the Croatian web portal contours of the signing of the agreement, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia with businesses Croatian military industry. At the ceremony marking the signing of the Treaty has been much discussion on the continuation of equipping the Croatian Army with the Croatian firearms – mainly from the highly successful plant Karlovac company HS product, this time written on the website of the contours.

    At the same time, the Minister of Defence of Croatia Kotromanović reporters explained that the supply of guns VHS-2 (caliber 5.56x45mm NATO) in line with the manufacturer’s export plans from Karlovac and placed before the Croatian army advantage of another country. He also stated amount of orders for Croatia army: 20,000 rifles VHS-2 (Hrvatska Višenamjenska Engine 2).

    Croatian Army currently has about 7,000 pieces of original versions of the domestic juriške guns VHS-1, we will endeavor to replace it with a newer model VHS-second It is mentioned several time frames, which will affect export transactions of the Croatian military industry. Temporal boundaries do not, agreed by the later.

    Željko Pavlin Director HS product from Karlovac, he pointed out that the gun VHS-2 placed on the market only recently. However, it is not only for improved VHS-1, because there are so many new features, it is hardly a new rifle that will offer the world a number of innovations in the segment of assault (automatic) rifle.

    Members, together with the Ministry of Defence of Croatia conducted a series of tests first prototype weapons, and then they started to mass produce, and then continue testing even with serial rifles. As pointed out by Pavlin, the order of the Croatian Army very important to them. Parallel to this, the HS product with MORH tested VHS-2 also abroad, and last year they managed to sign a contract for the sale of 10,000 rifles to foreign buyers.As stated in an interview later Željko Pavlin, would be to Iraq. The VHS-2 will be felt not some automatic rifle competitions in countries in Europe and beyond. He also stressed that the construction of VHS-1 a very learned a lot. Thus, the major export success with a series of pistols HS add rifle VHS-second

    One thing to note is that the French request for tender stipulates that the rifles must be produced inside the European Union, and that the factory must be capable of producing 16,000 rifles per year. It seems obvious that the most attractive option to the French government would for the rifles to be produced within France.

    It’s unclear whether the VHS being a bullpup gives it an advantage over its competitors, most of which are conventionally-laid out. The decision to submit the VHS-2, though, is a good one. French testing has historically been some of the most strenuous and trying that a rifle could undergo. That reputation is probably still deserved.

     

    Thanks to Hrachya for the tip.

    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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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