France has selected Heckler & Koch HF 416F assault rifle to replace its domestically-produced bullpup-styled FAMAS.
The Directorate-General of Armaments (DGA) announced last week that it awarded the contract to a consortium formed by Heckler & Koch France SAS and Heckler & Koch GmbH on September 22, 2016 for the Future Individual Weapon (AIF) program.
FAMAS has been in service for 40 years, and it fires the same SS109 cartridge.
The AIF program seeks to replace the FAMAS assault rifle, whose design dates back to the 1970s. A Europe-wide competition generated five proposals that were short-listed and evaluated by DGA, jointly with the armed forces.
The selected assault rifle is the HK 416 F. This rifle, chambered for the NATO caliber 5.56 mm cartridge, has the ability to fire rifle grenades and can be fitted with a 40 mm grenade launcher to increase its firepower.
This contract helps strengthen the strong ties between Germany and France in the defense, and in particular their arms industry.
The weapon can meet the requirements of the three services. The 2015 update of the 2016-19 military program law calls for the delivery of more than 100 000 weapons, accessories, ammunition and various services which include qualification, initial support and user training.
Deliveries are scheduled from 2017 and will be spread over ten years.