New Assault Rifle for Germany’s Special Operations Units

Members of German Special Forces (Photo: Bundeswehr)

A new weapon will enhance Germany’s special operations capabilities. The latest version of Heckler & Koch’s HK416 carbine will be supplied to two of the country’s elite military units — the KSK, Germany’s prime counterterrorism unit, and the KSM, specializing in maritime counterterrorism special operations.

They will take delivery of the A7 variant of the HK416 throughout this year to supersede their older G36 assault rifles while supplementing or outright replacing HK416 A5 rifles serving with both units today. The new version is officially dubbed G95 Germany.

HK416s, chambered for 5.56 NATO, is currently fielded by militaries and law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as in special operations, having deployed with units from the United States, Poland, Norway, Australia and more, to combat zones for just over 15 years.

The rifle was developed at the behest of the US Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta, more popularly known as Delta Force, as a replacement for the M4 carbine which came with a slew of reliability issues and malfunctions while in adverse environments, according to militarytimes.com.

Heckler & Koch worked closely with Delta to take the familiar layout of the M4 platform and add a short-stroke gas piston system similar to the one found in the G36, another H&K design. In 2004, Delta began deploying with the new rifle.

KSK and KSM, which serve similar roles to Delta Force and the Navy’s top-tier DEVGRU unit, will receive a more ergonomic take on the 416 in the A7 variant. Among the improvements on the rifle include a new selector switch that requires only 45 to 90 degrees of movement to select a rate of fire or to safe the weapon.

The new rifle will come standard with a 14.5 inch barrel, and will weigh around 8.1 lbs empty. Additionally, the rifle will include a quick-release iron sight that clips onto the upper rail, as well as a folding front sight mounted on the barrel.