French Police Adopt Heckler & Koch UMP

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss

Two of France’s national police forces the Police Nationale and the Gendarmerie Nationale are set to adopt the Heckler & Koch UMP. Following an request for information in 2017 a contract, worth 3.2 million Euros, will see the police and gendarmerie replace a plethora of older weapons.

The contract award notice does not name the UMP explicitly, however, the UMP fits the contract specification and the French police have been interested in the UMP for several years. Small numbers of UMPs have been issued since 2008, replacing the standard issue submachine gun the Beretta M12. In July 2017, the French government released a specification for 2,600 new submachine guns this contract fulfils the specification. The contract is worth 3,215,460 Euros or $3,764,866.36 and is being handled by Heckler & Koch’s French arm, HK France SAS.

Here is the translated description of the weapon and its purpose provided in the official contract notice:

The present consultation concerns the acquisition of 9 x 19 mm machine guns and their peripheral equipment for the benefit of the Gendarmerie Nationale and the National Police. These weapons will allow the operational services to have a collective weapon to ensure a specific response capability, day and night, at engagement distances greater than that of the handgun…

This project aims to renew the shoulder armament of the internal security forces. These weapons will have to use all the ammunition of 9 x 19 mm in current service within the MI. They will be accompanied by accessories promoting ergonomics, grip, sighting and shooting.

The contract is for an initial 2,600 submachine guns. 2000 described as ‘operational service’ weapons with a further 600 ‘theory and manipulation’ or training weapons. The award notice states that the contract also includes 600 blank firing adaptors, 100 suppressors, 50 individual maintenance kits, 30 armourers kits, 50 chamber flags, 50 carrying cases, 30 ‘tactical shoulder straps’, 200 ‘reduced firing solutions’ (potentially a semi-auto conversion), 50 tactical grips and 2500 magazines. Two training sessions on the maintenance of the submachine gun are also included.

In addition to the Heckler & Koch order the Police Nationale have also awarded a contract for 392 Glock 17 training pistols. The contract is worth 180,320 Euros or $210,000, and the contract notice explains that: “future operational services are equipped with Glock 17 handguns for their operational missions.”

Sources: 1 2

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: & Overt Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at:

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  • John Bolton's Mustache John Bolton's Mustache on Jul 15, 2018

    nice. cover your partners crotch with your new HK.

  • ICU ICU on Aug 07, 2018

    I shot a Beretta M12 and what a piece of junk it was. I rarely complain about a firearm but the thing had malfunctions every 3 or 4 rounds on several occasions. It could have been poorly maintained true, ammo was good and it was the standard issues mags. I cannot believe the Police Nationale (with the exception of their SWAT units) has been using this antiquity until 2018. Gendarmerie at least had some HK MP5. They went full HK it seems recently (army and law enforcement) and it’s not a bad choice. Much needed for some of their units.