skip to main content

Germany disqualifies Haenel from assault rifle competition

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) announced in a press release on 2 March that C G Haenel has been disqualified from the competition to replace the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle after an external law firm found alleged patent infringements.

The ministry said that Haenel had been given the opportunity to respond to allegations of patent infringements and that the company’s comments were taken into account.

Haenel said in a statement posted on its website on 4 February that the The Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support, had given it until mid-January to respond. The company concluded that the report commissioned by the BMVg “lacks expert content that would have been necessary to prove serious misconduct”. Haenel denied that its technical solution for the over-the-beach capability of its MK556 rifle to allow it to continue to operate after being submerged infringed any patents. Furthermore, Haenel claimed its technical solution was the “absolute state of the art ... used in various rifles from international manufacturers for decades”. Moreover, Haenel said the alleged patent infringement of its magazine was irrelevant as it was not part of its offer. The company claimed that H&K had not lodged a complaint or begun patent proceedings.

Haenel claimed in its 4 February statement that it was not permissible to exclude it from the award procedure and expected to be awarded the contract. German public television network ARD reported on 2 March that Haenel could be expected to bring the issue to court, further delaying the replacement of the Bundeswehr’s G36 assault rifle.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...