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According to the current schedule, the procurement decision for the new Bundeswehr assault rifle system is expected in the 2nd quarter of 2020. The tender for the G36 successor began on 21st April 2017. The Bundeswehr plans to procure around 120,000 assault rifles and related accessories. According to original planning, the contracts should be concluded in the first half of 2019. The contract value was initially estimated at EUR 245 million.

Both the Bundeswehr and industry remain silent about potential bidders for understandable procurement law reasons. It is known that SIG Sauer (SIG MCX) and Rheinmetall/Steyr (RS556) did not participate in the selection procedure for differing reasons. According to media reports, C.G. Haenel and Heckler & Koch are on board (in alphabetical order). It is considered likely that Haenel will compete with the MK556 and Heckler & Koch with the HK416 and the HK433.

System Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr - Entscheidung 2020 erwartet
MK556 (Photo: Haenel)
System Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr - Entscheidung 2020 erwartet
HK416 (Photo: Heckler & Koch)
System Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr - Entscheidung 2020 erwartet
HK433 (Photo: Heckler & Koch)

In October 2018 it became known that all submitted weapons did not meet the required criteria. Manufacturers were given until February 2019 to improve and resubmitt their products.

According to modified planning, the tests of the improved weapons should be completed in autumn 2019. As already mentioned, the results are currently being kept secret. However, the BAAINBw informed ES&T upon request that "according to the current schedule, a final procurement decision can be expected after approval by the German Bundestag in the second quarter of 2020".

System Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr - Entscheidung 2020 erwartet

Even if the BAAINBw has not declared whether one of the later submitted assault rifles has successfully passed the demanding trials, the fact that the procurement decision is expected in the second quarter of 2020 allows the conclusion to be drawn that at least one of the resubmitted assualt rifles has fulfilled all the required criteria.

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange and Waldemar Geiger