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A couple of years ago, Germany’s Bundeswehr announced it was looking to replace its Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. A recent report now suggests there are two primary contenders for the contract: Heckler & Koch’s HK433 and Haenel’s MK556.

The search for a G36 replacement officially kicked off when the Bundeswehr released a solicitation for the gun in April 2017. At the time, there were understood to be five contenders under consideration: the Rheinmetall RS556; Hechler & Koch HK433; Haenel Defence MK556; Sig Sauer MCX; and FN SCAR.

According to MilMag, Rheinmetall stepped away from the competition due to “economic reasons.” Sig, meanwhile, pulled out over issues with the “tactical and technical assumptions” of the proposed gun. In addition, the company cited U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as a concern. There was no reason given for FN’s withdrawal.

MilMag said testing and evaluation will be wrapped up by November 2018. Between December 2018 and April 2019, Bundeswehr will choose the winner. The contract is expected to be signed in May 2019. Bundeswehr will conduct further testing from May 2019 until July 2020. In September 2020, fielding will begin. The rifles are expected to be in service until 2046.

The contract for the Bundeswehr’s G36 replacement is reportedly worth €245 million.

Below, check out the specs for the HK433 and MK556.

Heckler & Koch HK433 (11-inch Barrel)

  • Caliber: 5.56 mm x 45
  • Operating principle: Gas-operated
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
  • Modes of fire: Single fire/full auto
  • Rate of fire: approx. 700/min
  • Buttstock: R, FO
  • Length min./max: approx. 577/843 mm
  • Width: approx. 81.0 mm
  • Height: approx. 195.0 mm
  • Barrel length: approx. 280 mm
  • Weapon Weight: approx. 3,250 g
  • Magazine Weight: approx. 160 g

Haenel Defence MK556

  • Caliber: 5,56 x 45mm
  • Length: 16“ – 923mm / 838mm    14,5“ – 883mm / 798mm    12,5“ – 812mm / 748mm    10,5“ – 781mm / 696mm
  • Buttstock: modified M4-boost-buttstock, adjustable length in 6 stages
  • Gas-Offtake: with adjustable gas-offtake
  • Flash Suppressor:   A2 Standard (further options on request)
  • Barrel Length/Twist:   16“ / 408mm – 7“        14,5“ / 368mm – 7“         12,5“ / 318mm – 7“        10,5“ / 266mm – 7“
  • Handguard: 4 NAR STANAG 4694 rail handguards, removable without tools, different lengths on request
  • Weight: 16“ – approx. 3,6 kg      14,5“ – approx. 3,5 kg      12,5“ – approx. 3,4 kg      10,5“ – approx. 3,35 kg
  • Trigger: Direct trigger with 3.200 g weight
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds
  • Safety: firing pin safety trigger, ambidextrous, 0°/60°/120° or 0°/90°/180°
  • Sight: foldable mechanical sight
  • Colors: sand (similar RAL 8000), olive green (RAL 7013) or black. Further colours on request.

[h/t The Firearm Blog]

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