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French troops getting new Heckler & Koch assault rifle

Heckler & Koch is to supply assault rifles to the French military.

By Richard Tomkins
French troops getting new Heckler & Koch assault rifle
Heckler & Koch's 416 F assault rifle, ordered by France. Photo courtesy Heckler & Koch

PARIS, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Heckler & Koch's 5.56mm 416 F assault rifle is to become the French military's standard individual weapon, replacing the domestically produced FAMAS rifle.

The changeover comes through an award from France's Directorate-General of Armaments for the country's Future Individual Weapon program to the consortium of Heckler & Koch France SAS and Heckler & Koch GmbH of Germany.

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Five proposals for a rifle were shortlisted in a Europe-wide competition.

The HK 416 F is chambered for the NATO caliber 5.56mm cartridge, has the ability to fire rifle grenades and can be fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher to increase its firepower. An update of France's 2016-2019 military program law calls for more than 100,000 weapons to be delivered to the French military, as well as accessories, ammunition and various services.

Deliveries by H&K are to begin next year and will be spread out over a 10-year period.

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