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Delivery of German Army machine guns delayed

Deutsche Welle German radio reports the delivery of new machine guns to the German army have been delayed -- possibly because of technical problems with the weapon.

By Richard Tomkins

BONN, Germany, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The Germany army won't be receiving initial deliveries of HK MG5 machine guns because of undisclosed technical problems with the weapon.

Deutsche Welle German radio, quoting a German military spokesman, said the weapons scheduled to be delivered two months ago won't arrive until next year.

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"Issues with the MG5 surfaced in May, with reports of inaccuracy floating around German political circles," Deutsche Welle reported.

"According to Tobias Lindner, the Green party's federal defense expert, a Bundeswehr appraisal said the machine gun was only 'conditionally fit' for use in combat. The defense ministry rejected that claim, however, announcing merely that 'requests for changes have been made and these must be addressed.'"

Heckler & Koch is a major German arms manufacturer and their 7.62mm MG5 is set to become standard issue with the German army.

A total of 12,733 MG5s were ordered from the company at a cost of $222 million.

In April, the German army's standard-issue assault rifle -- the HK G36 -- was found to have accuracy problems in hot temperatures or when overheated from firing. Heckler & Koch denies there is a problem with their weapon.

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