The French government has received the first production units of the Heckler & Koch HK416F as part of its long awaited Arme Individuelle du Futur (Future Individual Weapon). According to the French government Ministry of Defence website, the first 400 HK416F rifles were received by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on May 3rd. The rifles are the first batch of an expected total contract of more than 100,000 weapons, grenade launchers, training, and accessories worth up to about 400 million Euros.
The HK416F (for “France”) differs slightly from the standard HK416 models, primarily by the addition of a grenade launching ring for firing muzzle-launched rifle grenades, as per the practice of the French Army. Interestingly, the rifles lack an integral grenade launching sight, which could perhaps be provided via an attachment. In addition to the 38,505 units of the standard infantry rifle model which has a 14.5″ long barrel, the French government will also be procuring at least 54,575 units of an 11″ barreled compact model, which is presumably destined for echelon troops and special units. Also, 10,767 HK269F 40mm grenade launchers (an improvement on the model that became the US M320) are to be procured as part of the deal.
Procurement of the new rifles is expected to last for 10 years, ending in the late 2020s. 5,000 rifles are expected to be delivered to the French government during 2017.