The future of the German military service rifle, the G36 was cast into doubt by German Defence Minister Ursula von de Leyen on 22nd April – who stated that the ubiquitous rifle in its current state “has no future in the Bunderswehr”.
Janes.com reports that technical evaluation tests by the Bundeswehr’s Technical Centre for Weapons & Ammunition, demonstrated that the G36 failed to meet accuracy targets owing to overheating. It was claimed that the same tests carried out on other unspecified weapons showed that it is possible to meet the requirements set down.
The Federal Ministry of Defence is now to carry out further technical study on the G36 to evaluate the weapon’s use in Afghanistan.
Heckler & Koch, meanwhile, on their website offer a staunch defence of both the company and the weapon. H&K points out that they were first aware of any alleged problems with the weapon after receiving enquiries from the press about the testing and that the company had not been asked to contribute to the investigation. H&K state that the German Armed Forces have not communicated with them for some six months regarding the accuracy issues which they state would have enabled them to correct and clarify the issues reported.
H&K point out that their own tests and research following the reports of accuracy problems starkly contradict the Bundeswehr Technical Centre’s testing results.
The G36 is in use in some 40 countries around the World.