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Contract signed for German assault rifles

Latvia's armed forces have signed on the dotted line with German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH in a new framework agreement for purchase and delivery of the renowned company's G-36 assault rifles.

"The framework agreement and purchase contract envisage the purchase of G-36 assault rifles and other type of weapons. This seven year contract will provide the Latvian Armed Forces (NBS) and State Border Guard with an opportunity to purchase necessary weapons. The total amount of contract exceeds EUR 13 million, excluding VAT. First batches of guns will be delivered to the National Armed Forces and Border Guard in 2018," a statement from the Defense Ministry said.

“Purchase of G-36 assault rifles and other guns under the agreement will allow us to modernise the National Armed Forces, National Guard and Border Guard arsenal... It will further enhance the close cooperation and joint development to which we have committed ourselves,” said Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis of the deal.

G-36s are currently used by regular force units of the National Armed Forces. In future the National Guard (Zemessardze) will gradually switch to these modern assault rifles, replacing the aged AK-4s used so far.

According to the National Defense Concept, in cases when Latvia faces threats referred to in the National Armed Forces Law, the State Border Guard is required to defend the nation and border guards are incorporated into the National Armed Forces, making it logical that they should have weapons that are compatible with those of the regular army.

The number of weapons included in the deal is not being stated for reasons of operational security, the Ministry told LSM..

The army received its first G-36s in 2006, and has been using them during international missions in Asia and Africa.

You can read the weapon's specifications HERE.

According to the manufacturer, the G-36 was developed to suit the requirements of the German military and "is ideally suited for dismounted infantry operations. For optimal handling, weight, and rate of fire in close-quarters battle, and for rapid, accurate and penetrating single fire in long-range combat."

The company recently fought a legal battle with the German government over precisely how accurate the weapon is, as reported by Deutsche Welle in English. H&K ultimately won in court but is now engaged on trying to provide the replacement for the G-36 to the German military.

The video below shows U.S. soldiers being given an introduction to the G-36 by a German instructor.


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