German Army’s New Assault Rifle ‘Inaccurate’ for Battle: Report

The German Army’s new assault rifle has been found “inaccurate” for battle, making it unreliable to support combat operations, a classified report obtained by Der Spiegel claims.

The service’s G95A1 assault rifle, developed by Heckler & Koch, reportedly failed to pass recent trials using standard ammunition.

The problem stems from a plastic channel that supports the weapon’s barrel. During firing, the report said the channel quickly heats up and becomes soft, leaving it out of alignment.

“Current testing by the army in laboratory conditions shows that the weapon doesn’t meet army standards when loaded with combat ammunition,” the classified report noted.

The German Army specified that its assault rifles need to be sufficiently accurate with combat ammunition under realistic conditions.

However, the report claimed that the German defense ministry could no longer ensure this because of a “modified contract with the weapon’s manufacturer.”

Lowered Testing Standards

The issue reportedly forced the German Army to lower testing standards so the assault weapon could pass the trials and be introduced to troops more quickly.

According to Der Spiegel, the service allowed Heckler & Koch to test the weapon using civilian ammunition.

The trials were also conducted at room temperature rather than at extreme temperatures that simulate battlefield conditions.

Before the unsuccessful test, the German Army had planned to equip 180,000 soldiers with the new weapon starting next year.

G95A1 assault rifle
The German Army’s G95A1 assault rifle. Photo: Heckler & Koch

Actual Soldier Feedback

The accuracy issue with the G95A1 rifle was first discovered by German soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.

They said the weapon did not shoot straight after several minutes of heavy firing.

However, Germany’s elite KSK troops, also equipped with the assault weapon, had completely different feedback, saying the gun’s accuracy was up to scratch.

Troubled Program

The German Army has been struggling to equip its soldiers with a new generation of assault rifles that meet the required standards.

Before the G95A1 commissioning, the service used Heckler and Koch’s G36, which also suffered from accuracy and inconsistency problems.

In 2015, a survey found that only eight percent of German soldiers trusted the weapon, causing the defense ministry to ditch the G36.

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