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Thread: Archive Thread 13- New Weapons for the German Armed Forces

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    Default Archive Thread 13- New Weapons for the German Armed Forces

    [SIZE=5]New Weapons for the German Armed Forces[/SIZE]

    By Sören Sünkler

    The German Army Infantry and protective forces of the Air Force and Navy will be equipped with the MP7 Submachine Gun and MG4 Light Machine Gun. The MG4, also in use with other countries, will replace the MG3 as a squad machine gun.


    Infantry forces with the new MP7A1 Submachine Gun: “penetration of an assault rifle”.


    Until the new millennium, the Federal German Armed Forces Small Arms concept was largely based on 1960s design and technology, and in some cases pre-60s. A slow change has been going on here since the introduction of the Infanterist der Zukunft (IdZ) “Infantryman of the Future” system and of the corresponding MP7A1 Submachine Gun (2002) and MG4 Machine Gun (2005). It is true that the design and technology of the MG3 and MP2 “UZI” weapons were successful. However, they have been replaced due to their old age.

    The MP7A1 Submachine Gun by Heckler & Koch is a close range defensive weapon (Personal Defence Weapon (PDW)) and has the new high penetration calibre 4.6mm x 30 ammunition. It is true that it displaces the ‘UZI’ and the P8 (9mm x 19) self-loading pistol, which has only recently been adopted, but not considered to be in a position to fully replace them. Its real predecessor is the MP5K PDW with folding butt stock; this was only adopted by the Special Forces and the Military Police of the Federal German Armed Forces and was seen as a stop gap pending adoption of an actual PDW. Original planning called for the MP7 to equip rear echelon personnel, truck drivers, pilots and the crews of heavy weapons. According to planning these personnel were not to burden themselves with an assault rifle but yet be capable of defending themselves effectively.

    The new weapon is seen as a ‘three–in–one’ solution. It can be carried in a concealed way like a pistol, has the external appearance and capability of a submachine gun and its penetration is almost that of an assault rifle.

    The forward handgrip and butt stock can both be deployed quickly and easily. A multitude of optical reflex sights can be assembled onto the upper picatinny rail. A lateral picatinny rail enables the fitment of tactical accessories including a laser light module.

    This enables active target illumination by both day and night. The weapon becomes suitable for night fighting by the use of the ‘Lucie’ night vision goggles or by fitting a passive night sight on the upper picatinny rail. In addition there is a quick fit/release silencer. The new PDW is suitable for both right and left handed firers. There are ambidextrous safety and fire selector levers and the weapon is cocked and loaded via a cocking lever located at the top rear of the receiver. The Federal German Armed Forces, however, decided against a three-round burst trigger system. Magazines of 20 or 40 rounds may be inserted into the grip in a compact way. In particular the ammunition is a feature of the weapon. The new high velocity calibre shows performances four times the NATO requirements. At a range of 200 metres, it will penetrate a target made up of a 1.6mm titanium plate and 20 layers of Kevlar, an imitation of a Russian bullet proof vest, and any other sort of conventional protective clothing.

    Contrary to the old 9mm x 19 cartridge, double or over penetration is avoided as almost all of the energy is transferred into the target hit first. What this means: the protective vest of an attacker is penetrated with great certainty but the danger of secondary penetration of an uninvolved bystander behind the attacker is minimised.

    Contrary to that, the UZI penetrated none of the modern vests, but in return could penetrate two soft skinned targets without any problems.

    On the basis of the compact design and the use of glass fibre reinforced polyamides with steel inserts, the MP7 weighs less than 2 kilograms. As a gas operated weapon with a rotating bolt head, it is conveniently fired even using one hand only. Its recoil is only half that of a conventional 9mm cartridge. This combination predestines the MP7 as a weapon
    for close range defence, such as VIP protection or in confined spaces. However, so far it has only been fielded with the Federal German Armed Forces Army and Navy Special Forces. The Military Police use it to equip their VIP Protection Squads (Close Protection Teams (CPT)) in Afghanistan, Bosnia and the Kosovo. Also the KSK are carrying them.

    The MP7 has not yet arrived with its intended original end users: the rear echelon personnel, drivers, pilots and heavy weapon crews. Instead high ranking Federal German Armed Forces personnel have talked about a P46 Self defence pistol (4.6mm) for general use. It therefore appears as if the MP7 was to be reserved for an exclusive circle of users within the troops. Meanwhile, it has been adopted by 17 states among others by the British Ministry of Defence Police and Italian Special Forces.

    No less interesting was the procurement history around the new 5.56 mm x 45 calibre MG4 Machine Gun. With the adoption of this calibre weapon, the Federal German Armed Forces follow the example of the G36 standard issue assault rifle. The same ammunition for the main weapon of an infantry squad turns out to be extremely advantageous in view of supplies, weight and operational possibilities. The main reason for this weapon being adopted is, above all, the fact that is has more firepower and reduced weight with the consequence that an infantry squad can today be equipped with two machine guns
    instead of one. The old and heavier MG3 (7.62mm x 51) is to remain a mounted weapon on escort and transport vehicles up to final withdrawal. Only the new ‘Puma’ Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle is to be equipped with an MG4 as a standard weapon.


    MG4 with passive night sight. Machine Gunner of an infantry squad: “consistently positive experience”

    Manufacturers Heckler & Koch from the Swabian Oberndorf first presented the MG4 on a technical fair at London in 2001. Before that, US troops and armed forces of other allied nations had reported a mainly positive experience with light machine guns. Unlike other comparable machine guns, due to its design the MG4 is not as ****e to jams due to fluctuations in the ammunition or heavy fouling and is consequently more reliable than the MG3. In addition, it is safer, more compact and easier to operate than other light machine guns in the Federal German Armed Forces (LMG36 and G8). As a system firing from an open bolt, on cessation of fire the bolt remains in the open position and allows cooling air to circulate. This precludes an accidental cook-off of a cartridge.

    For transport and on the move, the cocking lever and butt stock can be folded up. A carrying handle/barrel grip allows fast and trouble free barrel change. An internal automatic safety prevents accidental discharges during cocking or a ‘runaway gun’. A loaded chamber indicator in the feed cover provides both visual and mechanical indication of the loaded state of the weapon. In order to prevent confusion, a modified feed shaft for training purposes only allows dummy rounds to be loaded and not ‘live ammunition’ belts. The upper assembly rails allow passive night sights, a thermal imagery sight or a laser light module to be fitted. In addition to the mechanical aperture sight a three power optical sight in a carrying handle may be used. According to Federal German Armed Forces information, only 20 MG4 had been supplied to the troops by early 2006. They are reported to mainly be in use with the protection companies in Afghanistan.

    Facts & Figures

    MP7 and MG4 procurement figures are coupled to the Infantryman of the Future (IdZ) armament project. With 217 IdZ basic systems, 434 MP7 have been procured so far. It is planned to equip another 870 enhanced IdZ systems with the submachine gun by the end of 2007. The same applies to the MG4. Consequently, only the infantry and, to a limited extent, mechanised infantry and Air Force and Navy protection force users of the IdZ system will also get this weapon. Full armament of the land forces with the MP7 and MG4 will presumably be decided on by the new Army armament concept. With regard to the costs of those new weapons, both the Federal German Armed Forces and the manufacturers Heckler & Koch remain silent.
    Heckler-Koch.de

    Published by: loyal, Magazin für Sicherheitspolitik. Issue: October 2006)












  2. #2
    I think I know everything, but I don't lightfire's Avatar
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    Is there a difference between MG 4 and MG 43? I believe we are buying a good bunch of that last one..

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    The gun seems to be based on the M4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightfire View Post
    Is there a difference between MG 4 and MG 43? I believe we are buying a good bunch of that last one..
    Of course there is, those are two complete different guns.

    Maybe you are confusing it with the MG3, the MG3 is basically a updated version of the MG43.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indirect Fire View Post
    The gun seems to be based on the M4.
    What gun ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macs. View Post
    Of course there is, those are two complete different guns.

    Maybe you are confusing it with the MG3, the MG3 is basically a updated version of the MG43.



    What gun ?
    The MP7A1. At 500 yards, armed with binocs, I would think of it being an M4 armed with an Acon Reflex because they do look similar in thr 1st photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indirect Fire View Post
    The gun seems to be based on the M4.
    Do yourself a favor and stop posting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indirect Fire View Post
    The MP7A1. At 500 yards, armed with binocs, I would think of it being an M4 armed with an Acon Reflex because they do look similar in thr 1st photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macs. View Post
    Of course there is, those are two complete different guns.

    Maybe you are confusing it with the MG3, the MG3 is basically a updated version of the MG43.
    No, I am not confusing. Perhaps you are?
    I said MG 43, not MG 42(that one I could confuze with MG3, though I have touched MG42 and shot from MG3).

    MG43 5.56mm:


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    The gun seems to be based on the M4.
    What gun ?
    The MP7A1.
    educate yourself before posting.
    http://hkpro.com/pdw.htm
    http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg49-e.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightfire View Post
    No, I am not confusing. Perhaps you are?
    I said MG 43, not MG 42(that one I could confuze with MG3, though I have touched MG42 and shot from MG3).

    MG43 5.56mm:

    Dong, my fault.

    MG43 is what HK calls it, MG4 is just the name used by our army.

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    so it's the same weapon I am glad it will replace MG3 at some extent in our both armies

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    Are soldiers getting weaker, always lighter weapons like 5.56 LMG and not 7.62 MMG.

    Do more push ups or some thing

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonosk View Post
    Are soldiers getting weaker, always lighter weapons like 5.56 LMG and not 7.62 MMG.

    Do more push ups or some thing
    A lot of people make comments about the loss of the 7.62 GPMG at section/squad level.

    But understand with the reduction of heavier firepower (of 7.62), you have a more flexible section that has 2 lsw/saw at the same time, that don't require assistant gunners. And they are significantly lighter, which make them faster and (relatively) more suited to built up environments.

    Yes, there are disadvantages to 5.56 as you can't simply shoot through walls like you can with 7.62. Shifting to 5.56 also changes the doctrine of how the squad / section fights, and I think germany is playing catchup to the rest of the western world.

    And as the article mentions, they are still retaining mg3s in vehicles. And unless they are in the light infantry role up in the mountains, I'll asssume that in the majority of operations, they will have vehicles nearby to support them when 7.62mm is required.

    On the other hand, the MP7 - For SF as a backup weapon, VIP escort, MPs, and pilots, I can see the utility. But for general rear echelon, drivers, armoured vehicle crewman etc, I still think they should have a proper assault rifle / carbine. IMO, there is simply not enough firepower, considering these days most armies have troops equipped with body armour, and even 5.56/7.62 has trouble penetrating those.
    If I was a driver, as a morale thing, I would much rather carry a carbine than an mp7. Besides, if the g36, g36k is already in service, why bother wasting money replacing it?

    However, I do see the advantage of the MP7 that allows you to easily point and shoot from within the confines of a vehicle. In an ambush as a driver, you should be driving, and the guy on the gun ring on top should be the one shooting back!

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    I also find the downward ejection a little odd. I know other MGs, (like FN MAG) have downward ejection, but I thought HK would have adopted the concept of the Minimi/m249 and used a downwards/sideways ejection pattern. The only reason I mention it is the magazine/pouch looks awkward, as it is mounted on an angle. Would mounting 200 rounds of link on the side torque the weapon slightly to the left?

    I'm not sure whether this would affect any handling characteristics or firing patterns. Any thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indirect Fire View Post
    The MP7A1. At 500 yards, armed with binocs, I would think of it being an M4 armed with an Acon Reflex because they do look similar in thr 1st photo.

    MP7

    Vs.


    M4



    ... Yeah.. I can totally see the similarities!

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