The core message is that C.G. Haenel is a development specialist that have made huge investments in their German factory in the past 13 years. The bottom line: 90% of the MK556 is going to be Made In Germany.
Both C.G. Haenel GmbH and Caracal GmbH facility in Germany are a part of the EDGE Group, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Just like every other official statement on this subject the message is only available in German, so we have machine translated the original version.
Haenel MK 556 – the assault rifle developed and produced in Suhl, Germany
Statement by C. G. Haenel on the decision of the Federal Ministry of Defense of September 15, 2020 on the new assault rifle of the Bundeswehr:
After several years of demanding selection process, the Haenel MK 556 prevailed against well-known national and international competition in the tender for the new assault rifle for the German armed forces. The product best meets the requirements of the Bundeswehr Procurement Office as defined in the tender; it is convincing in the sum of practical testing, product performance and the most economical overall offer. C. G. Haenel managing director Olaf Sauer points out that variants of this weapon have already been successfully introduced by German police authorities and special units and have proven themselves in practice.
Haenel, the development specialist
C. G. Haenel is a specialist in the development of firearms. As part of the Merkel Group, Haenel manufactures at the Suhl location in a high-performance and modern production company with a high level of vertical integration. With 120 specialized and highly qualified employees, the group of companies ideally represents all core competencies in weapons manufacturing. Olaf Sauer: “In particular, pipe production as one of the essential factors for high quality is available at the Suhl location in the Merkel Group with the necessary capacities”. C. G. Haenel and the Merkel Group enjoy an excellent reputation among authorities for product quality, delivery reliability and the responsible handling of weapons law and weapons exports. Haenel has been demonstrating these qualities to the Bundeswehr for years.
The Merkel Group has a company history that goes back to the 19th century; Merkel Jagd- und Sportwaffen and C. G. Haenel are the last remaining industrial producers in the historic weapons town of Suhl. At the same time, the group of companies cultivates the culture of gunsmithing for hunting with sophisticated, handcrafted hunting rifles and innovative hunting weapon concepts.
High investments in Suhl since 2007
In the post-reunification period, the group of companies went through a lot of turmoil and ultimately only found a secure and long-term perspective with the takeover by Caracal LLC from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Substantial investments have been made in the Suhl location since 2007: the building infrastructure, machinery and product portfolio (hunting and government business) have been expanded and continuously improved in order to ensure long-term competitiveness and growth of the company. The companies of the Merkel Group still work independently and economically “Made in Germany” and have also proven this in detail in the tender.
The MK 556 is 90% Made in Germany
The corporate strategy based on long-term goals – in connection with high investments in the location – secures and creates industrial jobs in Suhl. The production of the assault rifle for the German armed forces is carried out with a production share of around 90 percent in Germany and the economic region of South Thuringia in particular benefits.
Haenel, a historic brand from the Suhl Merkel Group portfolio, started business in 2008 with the development and production of hunting rifles. Due to increasing export restrictions for hunting weapons, Haenel expanded its corporate strategy to include the government market. This was inevitable in order to secure the sustainable development of the company and the jobs associated with it. Haenel quickly made a name for itself in this specific business area as well.
Source: C.G. Haenel (in German).
In our previous article there is a satellite picture over the factory in Suhl. There is no mentioning where the remaining 10% of the rifle is going to be made.
For those interested in the technical details of the MK556 rifle itself we can note that the picture attached to the official statement is a little different from the previous one. The stock and the pistol grip are different, but that’s it by the looks of it.
Below is the first and original picture for you to compare.
The final look of the MK556 will most certainly differ from what we see in these pictures.