Dutch Ministry of Defence buys Heckler & Koch 416 A5

    According to several sources, the The Dutch Ministry of Defence has just signed a seven-year contract for the delivery of Heckler & Koch HK416 A5 rifles. The contract also includes parts, additional equipment and accessories for the period, which is extendable with an additional three years.

    The purchase is worth around 17 million USD, and is going to make a busy Heckler & Koch factory even busier. It is not stated which barrel length they have chosen, or if several, but let me guess 14.5″.

    If you ever had the opportunity to examine the HK416 A5 in person, you will know it has some very nice features like fully ambidextrous controls.

    Below: The Heckler & Koch 416 A5 at SHOT Show 2018. Picture by author.

    Since before, the Dutch Special Forces (Korps Commandotroepen, Royal Netherlands Marine Corps’ Maritime Special Operations Forces and the Marechaussee Gendarmerie Brigade Speciale Beveiligingsopdrachten) use the HK416 in some of its earlier versions (sorry I don’t know which exactly). They have been used side by side with Diemaco/Colt Canada carbines.

    Below: The HK416 A5 at EnforceTac 2017, almost a year ago. The flash hider looks different on this firearm. G38 version slightly visible top in picture. Picture by author.

    Heckler & Koch HK416 A5 in a nutshell, from Heckler & Koch’s information:

    “The HK416 A5 is a further development of the HK416 assault rifle in 5.56 x 45 mm NATO calibre. The most striking changes compared to its previous versions as well as to market available AR platforms include an improved and tool-less gas regulator for suppressor use, a redesigned, user-friendly lower receiver, which allows complete ambidextrous operation of the weapon and ensures optimised magazine compatibility, as well as numerous technical improvements to maximize the operator safety, reliability, ammunition compatibility and durability under real operating conditions.”


    • Modified and tool-less gas regulator for suppressor use
    • Safety-/Fire selector lever can be set to safe when the hammer is in the cocked or uncocked position
    • Over the beach (OTB) capability
    • Completely ambidextrous operating controls (bolt catch-, Magazine release-, safety-/fire selector lever and charging handle)
    • “Winter” trigger guard for use with gloves and cold weather clothing
    • Non-stop NATO-Stanag 4694 top rail for use of various mechanical and optical sights (incl. night vision/thermal)
    • Redesigned ergonomic pistol grip with storage compartment for field stripping tool
    • Enlarged Bolt catch lever and protective barrier against accidental discharge
    • “Slim line” Telescopic buttstock
    • Optimised receiver geometry, modified assembly interfaces and improved receiver connections
    • Receiver extension to stabilise and accomplish drop test criteria under real conditions
    • Increased magazine compatibility in accordance with NATO-STANAG-DRAFT 4179 (M4/M16 Magazines)
    • 40 mm Low velocity GLM/M320 interface

    Variants | Options

    • 11“, 14.5“, 16.5“ and 20“ barrel lengths available
    • Black and green brown colour scheme
    • Compatible with HK 40 mm low velocity GLM/M320
    • Compatible with HK steel and polymer magazines

    Distinctive features of the variants

    • The 20″ Variant has a long handguard with a gas regulator window
    • Handguard with integrated flip up sight on 11″ Variant
    • Modular interface for Bayonet and foldable front sight on barrel of the 14.5″, 16.5″ and 20″ variants

    Technical Source: https://www.heckler-koch.com/en/products/military/assault-rifles/hk416-a5/hk416-a5-145/overview.html

    Below: The Heckler & Koch 416 A5 at SHOT Show 2018. Picture by author.

    Sources: Jane’s 360 and Special Ops.

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. TCCC Certified medic.