The Army Is Purchasing New H&K 417 Sniper Rifles

 13. 07. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

The Ministry of Defence recently published information about the purchase of twelve Heckler & Koch 417 sniper rifles with accessories. It is to some extent unusual that the required type of rifle is directly stated, because in the normal purchases, there are parameters stated, but the lowest price usually wins. The rifles will probably be intended for the 601st Special Forces Group, or for the newly established airborne regiment.

1920px-D150310ge2124Picture: The Ministry of Defence recently published information about the purchase of twelve Heckler & Koch 417 sniper rifles with accessories (illustrative photo).  | Wikimedia Commons

The Heckler & Koch MR308 (HK417) self-loading rifle caliber 308 Winchester (7.62x51 mm) is one of the most modern self-loading rifles of this caliber in the world and is used by specialists of NATO and US armies in current military conflicts. In the civilian sector, it is referred to as type MR308, the number 417 refers to the design of the weapon as an automatic firearm. The rifle has a 16.5 inches long barrel made of hard chrome and a standardized MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rail with an extended forearm. The rifle also has an ambidextrous bolt release (right side of the standard AR, the left side for the index finger of the shooting hand), an enlarged trigger guard suitable for use with an optical sighting device. The sights are hinged, removable, the butt is adjustable. These are the basic specifications of this proven and widely used rifle.

The army also demands optical sighting devices, night vision conversion lenses, laser markers and armourer kits along with the rifle itself, which in the civilian version costs about 85,000 crowns. In addition, the tender documentation contains the request for the possibility of shooting with the use of winter accessories, ballistic protection and goggles. The required service life of the barrel is at least 6,000 shots and the spare parts should be available for the minimum of 10 years. The weapon must have a high degree of reliability and safety in use and handling, with a failure rate of less than 0.2 %, not taking into account any defects caused by ammunition.

These weapons will be purchased with the intention to equip combat platoons with the necessary equipment and accessories according to the table numbers. This particular type of weapon is required because of the previous armament with the H&K 417 rifle, the established training procedures, the established maintenance and cleaning system, the equipment for soldiers and uniform logistical support in foreign operations.

The Ministry of Defence further justifies the choice of this exact type of weapon as follows: In the event that equipment with the required properties is not purchased, the uniformity of training and retraining in the operator training system is not ensured and it is not possible to ensure 100% SOP (standard operating procedures). I wish every army unit could purchase equipment this way and choose a specific thing that is proven and suits the soldiers, instead of the emphasis being placed only on the lowest price.

 Author: Martin Šiška