German special operations units are about to get their hands on the latest iteration of Heckler & Koch’s HK416 carbine, currently fielded by a number of militaries and law enforcement agencies across the world.
Now, two of Germany’s most elite military units -- Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) and Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine (KSM) -- 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.
HK416s, chambered for 5.56 NATO, have already established themselves as tried and proven weapons in the special operations community, having deployed with units from the United States, Poland, Norway, Australia and more, to combat zones for just over 15 years.
In fact, 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.
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.
Officially dubbed the G95 by the Germany Federal Ministry of Defense’s procurement office maintains that 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.
The G95 is slated to arrive with a Model EXPS3 holographic sight as well as a G33 Magnifier, both produced by American electro-optic manufacturer EOTech.
KSK and KSM armorers expect to receive the complete order of over 1745 G95s as well as the accompanying holographic sights and magnifiers in bulk by the end of 2019, as per the tendered contract.