Orbital ATK and Heckler & Koch Settle XM25 Lawsuit

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss

Orbital ATK and Heckler & Koch have reached a settlement in their lawsuit which saw ATK sue the German firearms giant for $27 million. The case was filed in early 2017, with ATK demanding compensation for the failure of Heckler & Koch to deliver 20 XM25 prototypes. The two companies had worked together on the US Army’s XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System. ATK had developed the weapon’s ammunition, optics, and fire control system, while Heckler & Koch designed the weapon. The Army subsequently cancelled the contract with Orbital ATK in April 2017.

XM25 CTDE weapon system (US Army)

Orbital ATK believed Heckler & Koch’s failure to deliver put their contract with the US government in jeopardy increasing the likelihood the program would be cancelled. Heckler & Koch denied the claim and declined to comment on the case. The two firms have now settled their dispute with Heckler & Koch paying ATK just $7.5 million in compensation. A statement from Heckler & Koch said “We are very happy to have found an amicable solution with ATK.”

Here’s Heckler & Koch’s statement on the resolution of the litigation in full (machine translated from German):

Oberndorf. Heckler & Koch GmbH and Orbital ATK Inc. and Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC (“ATK”) have settled their litigation and reached an agreement.

Heckler & Koch has compared itself with its long-term cooperation partner ATK on the basis of the payment of a compensation in the amount of 7.5 million US dollars and thus brought all litigation out of court a solution. “We are very happy to have found an amicable solution with ATK,” said a company spokesman.

It was also agreed that Heckler & Koch and ATK will continue to work together in a trusting and sustainable manner in the future.

The settlement of the lawsuit comes at the same time as Heckler & Koch announce another change of management. The company’s chief financial officer, Wolfgang Hesse, a member of the Management Board since 2016, will step down at the end of his term in December 2018. A statement from Heckler & Koch explains that Hesse is stepping down for personal reasons. The statement goes on to say:

With the completion of the interim management of the group and the successful incorporation of the new CEO Dr. Ing. Jens Bodo Koch, which set the course for a further positive development of the company, Mr. Hesse will face a new challenge outside the Heckler & Koch Group.

The announcement of Hesse’s replacement is expected soon.

Sources: 1 2

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: TheFirearmBlog.com & Overt Defense.com. 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: matt@thefirearmblog.com

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2 of 31 comments
  • Sense Offender Sense Offender on Jul 20, 2018

    Great job HK for showing your inner Angela Merkel to do "good!" Now how about you get off your broke ass and bring daddy my own US G36 to have fun with.

  • Ike Ike on Jul 21, 2018

    I think the biggest reason H&K settled is because their suit isn't with Orbital ATK anymore. Northrop Grumman closed their acquisition of Orbital ATK on June 6th. H&K doesn't want to try and compete against the no.5 largest munitions manufacturer in the world, nor does it have the money. H&K is spinning it as positive, but the safe bet is that NG Corp just said "Settle or we outspend you into bankruptcy."