TFB travelled to the UK’s largest defense exposition, Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), where we took a look at some of the newest small arms technology. One of the first stands we headed to was Steyr’s in the hopes of getting a look at their improved G36 – the G62.
We weren’t disappointed and had the chance to get hands on with the new improved rifle for the first time. We have been tracking the progress of the Steyr Arms – Wilcox – Corax Defence project since we heard the first murmurings about it in 2019. We spoke to both Steyr and Wilcox at DSEI and they were kind enough to run us through the features of their respective systems.
Steyr have worked on improving the basic design of the G36 and addressing the perceived shortcomings of the system. While Wilcox have been busy incorporating their integral accessory power architecture into the G62’s forend. We got our first solid information on the development of the G62 back in June 2021, which provided information on the engineering efforts behind the G36 upgrades and the accuracy and improvements which they yielded. Check out the video on the G62 recently released by Steyr here.
There are a number of possibilities in the G62’s future, depending on the decision of Germany’s controversy struck rifle tender. The kit may be used to upgrade Germany’s G36 rifles or potentially to upgrade the rifles held in reserve. The upgrades may include just Steyr’s improvements to the rifle’s physical parts or possibly include the Wilcox Fusion. The Spanish have not yet announced a tender for either replacement or upgrade of their G36s though a requirement is believed to exist.
The Steyr Arms – Wilcox – Corax Defence system could be an attractive option for countries like Germany, Spain and Lithuania whose militaries are equipped with the rifles. As well as countries like the UK who have a substantial number of G36C carbines in police service.
Steyr Arms confirmed that even if a country hasn’t previously purchased the G36 and isn’t looking to upgrade existing rifles in inventory, they are in a position to manufacture the entire rifle to deliver G62 to new interested partners.
The rifle has a new trunnion, upper optics rail, guide rail and receiver, despite these changes the rifle still feels handy. Steyr didn’t confirm the weight of the rifle but noted that in principle the G36 as a platform was basically sound and was prime for the small but key improvements that Steyr are offering. The forend on the rifle displayed at DSEI was a simple, standard G36 polymer forend, however, Steyr have shown imagery of a metal forend with Keymod attachment points on their website.
The project began back in 2018 and was initially based off of feedback from Spanish Army cadets and special forces. Since then the G62 has been examined by Germany’s Bundeswehr. The G62 upgrade package includes a new metal receiver while a new barrel is also an option, as is a STANAG compatible magazine well. Wilcox have brought their FUSION powered rail system which incorporates a number of accessories including a light, laser, and IR illuminator – all powered by a centralised power pack.
Wilcox have been developing the Fusion system for a number of years and have developed forends not just for the G36 but also other common platforms including the AR-15/M16/M4 and also the Beretta ARX family. Below is a photograph of the KMA556 with a Fusion handguard. They describe it as “a lightweight fully integrated fire control system that manages the power and maintenance of the rifle it is mounted to. A uniquely designed dual battery system features a primary and reserve battery compartment.” You can find out more about the KMA556 here.