HK69A1 Spotted in use by Central African Republic Rebels

    Although these photographs were published by at least mid-2014, the presence of an HK69A1 in the hands of any insurgent group is interesting enough to those of us at TFB. The pictures were taken by a Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic while embedded with the then victorious rebel group Séléka, more formally known as Séléka CPSK-CPJP-UFDR. The images are viewable here, on a Ukrainian media website, which published a compilation of them in 2014. A caption attributed to the photographs on a separate website specifically mentions the location of where they were taken-

    A Seleka fighter holds his machine gun as other fighters cross a river near the town of Kuango, close to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, on 9 June 2014.

    At the present time, we don’t have the proper permissions to show our readers the image itself, other than a simple screenshot of the actual page that it appears on.

    But within the images of the rebel group members that the Reuters photographer was traveling with, we can clearly see a 40x46mm Low-Velocity HK69 standalone grenade launcher being passed around from member to member in what appears to be some sort of troop movement. At least two of these members has a bandoleer of what appears to be at least 12 rounds of 40x46mm shells enclosed in protective white capsules that are inside two sets of cloth bandoleers wrapped around him. Although they aren’t visible, it would look like they are all HE-DP in type.

    The HK69A1 was adopted in 1974 by the German Army and also by Law Enforcement as a slightly different variant. Interestingly, the list of HK69A1 end users as posted on Wikipedia (ever so correct…) doesn’t include a single country in the continent of Africa. Heckler & Koch or a third party dealer could have easily sold this HK69A1 as part of a contract (or as surplus military aid) to a legitimate government in the vicinity of the Central African Republic or to the country’s government itself, and sometime thereafter it was captured from government forces when the Seleka insurgents toppled the government in 2014.

    Image and specifications courtesy of Modern Firearms.Net.
    https://modernfirearms.net/en/grenade-launchers/germany-grenade-launchers/hk69-eng/

    Specifications

    Caliber: 40mm (40×46)
    Overall length: 683 mm with stock extended; 463 mm with stock retracted
    Weight: 2.76 kg unloaded
    Effective range: up to 150 meters point target, up to 350 meters area targets

    Miles

    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]


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