Heckler & Koch 416F deployed in Sahel, Africa

    According to this report from the French Armed Forces, they seem very happy with their new Heckler & Koch HK416Fs in the deserts of Sahel. They have used the HK416 out to 600 meters, with good results.

    It may sound silly, but if you previously had to hand-carry your flash/weapon-light as you couldn’t mount them on your rifle conveniently, a Picatinny (or similar) rail is going to feel like a huge development.

    You can check some of the background of the HK416 for France here, with some examples of how the FAMAS was used.

    Top picture: The text on the HK magwell reads: HK416 F-S

    Below: HK416F with EOTech sight. According to TFB’s previous information, France chose to use the Aimpoint CompM5 for HK416F but apparently, there are other sights around.

    BARKHANE: Le HK416 continue de se déployer au Sahel

    Auto-translated, and edited, from the French Report linked above:

    With a caliber of 5.56 mm, the brand new HK416 rifle is gradually replacing the FAMAS rifle and arrived in the French Gao base.

    Captain Jean-Christophe, commander of a unit within the Barkhane force, shares his experience:

    “In Ménaka, at the beginning of December, we carried out a search operation of houses during the night. The HK416 allowed us to place complementary accessories such as a lamp on a rail fastening system. We were much more efficient than we could have been with a FAMAS. Before, we progress in operation lamps by hand or pressed against the rifle. This capacity changes everything.

    This rifle can integrate a large number of existing devices, including sighting aids. “The range is theoretically 300 meters but we used it here up to 600 meters. It is an ambidextrous weapon that allows handling for both right-handed and left-handed users without any dismantling of parts, “says Sgt. Olivier, first trainer and HK 416 specialist.

    “We notice that there are no incidents during the first uses. This rifle is easier to disassemble, the number of pieces has been reduced. It demonstrates its effectiveness in use, “concludes Captain Jean-Christophe.

    Led by the French armies, in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation Barkhane was launched on August 1, 2014.

    It is based on a strategic approach based on a logic of partnership with the main countries of the Sahel-Saharan strip ( BSS): Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina-Faso.

    It brings together some 4,500 military personnel whose mission is to fight against armed terrorist groups and to support the armed forces of the partner countries so that they can take this threat into account, notably within the framework of the joint G5 Sahel force currently under way.

    Source : État-major des armées and Ministère de la Défense, France.

    In 2016 TFB spotted the Heckler & Koch G36C in a similar place, Mali.

    Did you see the very rare civilian versions of the HK416F, the MR223 F-S and MR223 F-C?


    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, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.