Germany’s Hesse Police in Search of New 5.56 Rifle

    Hesse SEK

    Hesse State Police Spezialeinsatzkommando or SEK with HK G36Cs

    Germany’s Hesse state police are in search for a new 5.56x45mm rifle. The German defence blog Strategie-Technik reports that Hessian state police have published a tender for ‘mid-range weapons’  to replace their submachine guns currently in service.

    Hessian Police are calling for a mid-range weapon that “serves as a compact shoulder-mounted weapon system for medium deployment distances. Their purpose is the production of technically necessary weapon superiority.” This comes as the Hesse state ministry aims to reconfigure all of its law enforcement officers into emergency intervention teams to respond to serious armed incidents such as hostage situations and terrorist attacks.

    The Hesse state police currently employ over 15,000 officers, most carry a Heckler & Koch P30 as their sidearm. The move to reconfigure officers to be able to respond to emergencies means that some of the smaller calibre submachine guns (principally the Heckler & Koch MP5) currently in use need to be replaced or augmented with a more capable, rifle calibre, semi-automatic weapon.

    Hesse Police with MP5s

    Hessian Police armed with HK MP5’s respond to a hostage situation in Viernheim in 2016 (

    Tender documents call for a 5.56x45mm rifle with a folding stock, which immediately precludes DI AR-pattern rifles. As Hesse state police response units currently use semi-automatic G36Cs it is highly likely that Heckler & Koch will win the contract. Hesse police are calling for 1,314 rifles fitted with an Aimpoint Comp M4s and a further 391 with Steiner M5Xi optics.

    Further evidence of Heckler & Koch’s hegemony over German Federal and state law enforcement contracts has emerged in the form of another substantial contract for police carbines. The Saxony-Anhalt state police have purchased an additional 85 semi-automatic Heckler & Koch G36Cs for €349,918.31 or $431,000.

    The new police carbines must not be impacted by ITAR regulations and manufacturers must be able to begin delivery in January 2019, with deliveries complete by December 2022.

    ‘Hesse is looking for middle distance weapons’, Strategie-Technik, retrieved 23/03/18, from source

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]