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Various defense projects, use Conditional immediate needs and some modernizations and adaptations to special uses have the infantry toolbox Bundeswehr rich and specific, but sometimes also made confusing. New purchases are pending. Adapted concepts should harmonize the stock.

Basically: The infantry toolbox ranges from combat knife up to the shoulder-guided missiles. Small arms and anti-tank hand weapons empower infantry and dismounted operating forces, targets at ranges up to 2,000 meters to fight. With regard to the small arms that are the focus of this article, namely the Planning Office and the department is currently working K6.2 of the Federal Office for equipment, information technology and use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) to further harmonization. Here, the system concept is even more strongly to the fore: The system handgun consists of the basic weapon and supplementary sets. These can, depending on the intended use or different troops genus-specific. Among the supplementary sets include target devices (mechanical and optical), attachments such as laser light modules, silencers, grenade launcher or bayonet. System-handed weapon also includes the corresponding Peripherieaustattung (z. B. strap, magazines, magazine pouches, Umtarnfarben), ammunition, logistics (management, spare parts, repair) and last but not least training.

Shooting with MG5 and G27 during an exercise (Photo: Bundeswehr)

The proportion of ammunition for small arms is currently undergoing changes. Operations and training requirements have already led to numerous here-specific solutions. Other challenges, which both legal aspects (keyword: REACh) concerning temperature stability in all climates effect demands and changing training needs, are worth the ammunition to devote a separate article soon.

Pistols and machine guns

go P1 and P7 and are out of use, P8 (pictured) and P30 currently belong to the equipment of the special forces. (Photo: Bundeswehr)

The gun has won as a backup weapon in the last few years. Intense training increased the excess loads significantly, leading to wear and damage. In the context of regeneration measures the guns P8 have been upgraded to enhanced version P8A1.
The mainly used by bodyguards handle Spanner gun P7 was replaced already by the P30 (without manual safety). This weapon is also used in the special forces, as well as the prepared for silencer P12 .45. All mentioned guns come from Heckler & Koch. In addition there is also in the special forces the P9A1 alias Glock 17 gene. 4

The Glock 17 is as P9A1 in the Bundeswehr in use. (Photo: Weisswange Jan-P.)

For the once delivered by Walther pistol P1 of cross-sectional utilization commitment exists. It takes place in future only the protocol-related service usage. Exotics remain underwater gun P11 and P21 as cataloged Walther PPK in 7.65 mm x 17 From the latter, there is the military attaché service stocks. At present, the functional capability requirement for the new gun is cross-sectionally in the works. This project is considered, in particular the changing operational requirements into account and the number of handguns is likely to increase significantly. Regardless of the gun in cross-section, a system is being procured gun Special Forces beyond. This project will be tailored to the specific needs of special forces to handguns and cross section differ from the gun - for example, with regard to the Zurüstungsmöglichkeit of optics or mufflers or to a higher magazine capacity.

Frogmen with G36K and MP7 (right) (Photo: Bundeswehr / Carsten Vennemann)

Submachine guns close the gap between pistol and rifle. Currently in the Bundeswehr MP2 (Uzi), MP5 and MP7 in different versions in use. The MP7 is soon to be acquired in other scopes and replace the MP2. In this context, the harmonization will then be rolled out based weapon with supplementary sets here.

Assault rifles

The project system assault rifle Bundeswehr is currently underway also in the public highly regarded defense project in the field of small arms. About which manufacturer with what weapons are in the race for the future standard hand weapon reigns of official and industrial side understandably procurement law reasons not disclosed. A selection decision to be expected this year.

G95K and laser light package in the operational test hot / dry Yuma / Arizona (USA) (Photo: BAAINBw)

First, the rifle G36 remains the cross-sectional assault rifle of the Bundeswehr in its various versions. In the troops, the executions G36A0 for up G36A4 and the short versions G36kA1 to G36kA4. The A3, ka3 versions are part of the conversion kit Soldier Systems Future Soldier - Expanded System (IdZ-ES). The A4 variants meet the A3 versions largely but not have the push-to-talk buttons IdZ-ES. As part of the maintenance defective G36 are brought to the armament level A4 to Obsoleszenzbeseitigung under application of a strict standard, which is characterized thanks to adjustable shoulder stock and various adaptation interfaces on top of the case and the Hand protection through better adaptability of the gun to the equipment and higher modularity. Considerations release planning with the possibilities of disentanglement or use of stocks G36 are currently in development.

G36A3, part of the Future Soldier - Expanded System (Photo: Jan-P Weisswange.)

Regardless of the system assault rifle Bundeswehr, the project ran assault rifle special forces. Special Forces Command (KSK), and Kampfschwimmer obtained starting in the first half of 2019, the new G95K assault rifle special forces easily. It is the Heckler & Koch HK416A7 in 5.56 mm x 45 14.5 "run (368 mm). The G95K can also serve as a vivid example of the system concept, as the total of 1,745 sets will be delivered in different combinations to the commandos and frogmen. The frogmen will use an Aimpoint red dot sight, while the KSK operator received a Eotech-reflex sight with magnification attachment. All receive the laser light package of Rheinmetall.
As assault rifle special forces hard (7.62 mm x 51) further is a limited version of the G27 in low three-digit number under the name G27k in the feed.

Scope rifles and semi-automatic sniper rifles

G27P in use by special forces (Photo: Bundeswehr / Martin Stollberg)

The G27 alias HK417 in normal length has the Armed Forces obtained in two different ways: as a support weapon special forces (G27P, precision) with a Schmidt & Bender 1.5-6 × 20 riflescope for the special forces, as well as immediate deployment related demand (ESB) under the G36-G27 with the intermediate solution as cross-sectional 4x30i target optics and attached reflex sight RSA-S of Hensoldt.
Currently, there are considerations, the G27 as part of the harmonization with the inflow of new standard rifle than across-average scope rifle (designated marksman rifle, DMR role) to use - possibly with a patrol rifle scope, as it is now in the form of Schmidt & Bender 1-8 x 24 PM Short Dot II Dual CC is obtained as a supplementary set patrol configuration for the G28.

The new Schmidt & Bender 1-8 × 24 PMII Short Dot Dual CC from the supplementary set patrol configuration. (Photo: Jan-P Weisswange)

Such a new role of the G27 as a scope rifle, it would in turn allow that also procured in ESB and in-force since May 2012 semi-
automatic G28 in the future than to use what is in fact: a semi-automatic sniper rifle, which could come in the sniper trains then - for example, as armament for the spotter. When G28 a set of adjustment shall be made beyond. For the basic weapon supplementary kits night vision, thermal imaging equipment, patrol equipment and accessories will be available in the future.
The suspended in the past project G26 sniper rifle short range for special forces / military police - a precision weapon in 7.62 mm x 51 - was relaunched in the meantime, to be implemented in the foreseeable future.

Sniper rifles

Currently held in the portfolio 780 sniper rifles G22 and G22A1 in caliber .300 Winchester Magnum (7.62 mm x 67) until further notice kept in use and by the manufacturer Accuracy International and its German authorities Sales Pol-Tec to variant G22A2 in the course of necessary Obsoleszenzbeseitigung converted. As part of this modernization takes place, inter alia, to harmonize the optical features: So the G22A2 is MX5i 5-25 x 56 received the Steiner Military rifle scope with the tremor-3-reticle. This is also on the employed in the special forces sniper rifle G29 alias CG Haenel RS9 in .338 Magnum Lapua (8.6 mm x 70) mounted.

G22A2 with Steiner Military 5-25 x 56 (photo: Accuracy International)

Due to the fact that the 300 Winchester Magnum abuts at ranges beyond 1,000 meters with the currently used ammunition to its limits, is also used for the regular sniper a new rifle in a caliber which has an effective operational range against those targets of up to 1,500 meters, considered. The powerful caliber is designed to enable the infantry to be able to effectively and accurately fight (heavy machine gun), which reached .50 machine guns shot a distance of about 1,200 m, for example, enemy machine gun squads.
Die Funktionale Fähigkeitsforderung für das neue Gewehr wird nach ES&T-Informationen derzeit erarbeitet und soll in der ersten Jahreshälfte 2019 fertiggestellt werden. Hierbei wird man sich vermutlich von den bisherigen Erfahrungen mit dem G29 leiten lassen, und aus unterschiedlichen Gründen könnten Lösungen mit verschiedenen Kalibern untersucht werden. So ließen sich mit der Möglichkeit zum Wechsel von .338 auf kleinere Kaliber wie .300 Winchster Magnum oder gar .308 Winchester (7,62 mm x 51) Schießbahnen mit geringeren Gefahrenbereichen nutzen bzw. die Schützen gewichtsoptimiert und missionsgerecht ausstatten. Weiterhin können gerade mit .308 auch auf kürzere Distanzen Schießfertigkeiten wie die Berücksichtigung der Winddrift besser trainiert werden als mit der in diesen Entfernungsbereichen weniger anfälligen .338. Daher liegt es nahe, dass für das neue Scharfschützengewehr auch Wechsellösungen untersucht werden. Man könnte die Vorteile im Ausbildungsbetrieb und im Einsatz im urbanen Gelände mit geringen Einsatzreichweiten mit Kalibern 7,62 mm abdecken. Somit wäre eine Ausbildung deutlich günstiger und umfangreicher möglich, da man das kleinere Kaliber auf jeder Schießbahn der Bundeswehr nutzen kann. Als technische Lösung für dieses Konzept bietet die Industrie zwei unterschiedliche Möglichkeiten: entweder ein Multikalibersystem mit Wechselläufen, -verschlüssen und -magazinen oder einen Satz mit identisch zu bedienenden Waffen in den geforderten Kalibern.

machine guns

The army divided their machine guns into five different product classes: light, medium, medium-high cadence, and severe special forces.
That based on the MG42 Rheinmetall MG3 this year celebrates its 50th anniversary in the troop. As production has already been set in the 1970s, is intended as part of regeneration measures several thousand new mill housing (!) To make. The proven universal MG should remain in 7.62mm x 51 with the high rate of fire of 1,200 rounds / minute especially on combat vehicles than-aircraft, as well as coax-MG medium in use. The corresponding weapons are the names MG3A0A1 for the infantry variant or MG3A1A1 wear for the installation weapon.

Prototype of MG3A0A1 (Photo: Rheinmetall)

The different variants of MG4 (5.56 mm x 45) and MG5 (7.62 mm x 51) are also harmonized. In addition to the original MG4 there is the version A1 (installation weapon Puma infantry fighting vehicle), A2 (IdZ-ES), and A2A1 (infantry without IdZ IT equipment). In future, it will easily be a weapon family consisting of the infantry version MG5A2 and the two new machine guns and class MG4A3 MG4kA3. This family is characterized by high logistics equality (123-over parts) and the same kind of operation and equal protection concept.

Light machine gun MG4A3 (Photo: BAAINBw)

As part of the modernization of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle is intended to replace the installed there MG4A1 by MG5A1. The MG5A1 can be well on the remotely operated weapon stations FLW100 and the mechanical carriages KMW1530 integrate. Moreover, adapters are introduced in order to use it as infantry on the MG3-mountings for MG5A2.
As another new machine gun currently the MG6 is running too. It is to that of the product of Dillon Aero M134D, a Gatling multi-barrel weapon in 7.62 mm x 51 with very high cadence. The MG6 will be used in the special forces as armament on vehicles, rigid inflatable and lightweight support helicopters H145M.


Shooting training in the mountains with the G29 (Photo: Bundeswehr / Jana Neumann)

The individual armament is a key indicator of military combat effectiveness. After the implementation and updating of the new shooting training concept, the Bundeswehr is the new approach to harmonization of their hand weapons to be on the amount of time basically. It will be important in addition to continue to fill the new concepts in the troop with life and - if necessary - to further develop.
The logistical consideration in all its aspects must not be neglected, as the materiel readiness of hand weapons, even under conditions of use, primarily ensured by the specialized staff of the Bundeswehr. Another spread of weapons mix thus automatically leads to increased staffing requirements in quality and quantity in all military organizational areas.

Authors: Dr. Jan-Phillipp Weisswange and Waldemar Geiger

Dr. Jan-Phillipp Weisswange Speaker is public relations in the defense industry. This post is his personal opinion.