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US News Order for assault rifle: Heckler & Koch is now awarded the contract

12:15  03 march  2021
12:15  03 march  2021 Source:   ksta.de

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With reference to patent infringements, the Ministry of Defense has excluded the Thuringian weapons manufacturer C. G. Haenel from the procurement procedure for the new assault rifle of the German armed forces. The ministry announced on Tuesday in Berlin that the decision was made after evaluating all the documents submitted. “The company has already been informed of this. It is now intended to award the contract to the Heckler & Koch company, ”it said.

Das Logo des Waffenherstellers Heckler & Koch ist auf dem Firmengelände an einer Präsentationswand neben Waffen zu sehen. © dpa The logo of the weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch can be seen on the company premises on a presentation wall next to weapons.

A patent law evaluation was carried out by an external patent law firm. “As a result, according to the experts, there is a patent infringement,” wrote the ministry.

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Haenel from Suhl had surprisingly prevailed in the bidding process for 120,000 weapons against the traditional Oberndorf supplier Heckler & Koch, who also supplies the current G 36 assault rifle. This should be discarded after a dispute about the accuracy after long series of shots or under the influence of heat. Haenel was awarded the contract on the grounds that the weapon was comparably good, but significantly cheaper. The company belongs to an Arab armaments company.


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The ministry is now citing references to patent infringements, as they were presented in reports at the end of last year. These concern the offered magazine of the Haenel weapon and special bores from which penetrated water can escape again ("over the beach"). Two reports are to be available in the Bundestag on both topics, assuming patent law violations. However, there is a third expert opinion in which doubts are formulated as to whether the wells are patentable at all.

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Opposition criticism made itself felt at various points on Tuesday. The FDP defense politician Alexander Müller was relieved that a decision had now been made. “The Heckler & Koch 416 model is certainly a good choice for the troops,” he said. The lesson must be to always have the question of patent infringements on the radar screen for future procurements. Now there is a threat of years of conflict.

“Anyone who knows the content of the confidential patent reports will not be surprised by the decision of the Ministry of Defense. The fact that the former winner of the tender is now excluded from the process shows how error-prone the process of procuring a new assault rifle went ”, explained the Green defense politician Tobias Lindner. It seems that in the end the courts will decide which rifle the troops will receive.

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