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German Military Cancels Contract With CG Haenel for New Rifles After H&K Alleges Patent Infringement

Last month, the German Defense Ministry announced a contract award to CG Haenel for 120,000 of the MK556 carbine to replace the G36 manufactured by Heckler & Koch.

This sent shockwaves through the small arms industry as H&K had provided rifles for the German Army since the 1950s. The win was based primarily on price but as soon as the award was announced, many began to question whether CG Haenel could handle the scope of the contract.

This is partly navies CG Haenel is part of the Merkel Group, which is under Tawazun Holding (United Arab Emirates) (Caracal). That being said, the Haenel plant was once used to manufacture rifles for the East German Army when that country still existed.

The MK556 is quite similar in design to the HK416 and that is because the chief engineer for the 416 project left HK years ago, first for SIG where he worked on the MPX and MCX and later to Caracal where he developed a family of rifles.

Heckler & Koch is suing CG Haenel for alleged Intellectual Property infringement. Consequently, the German government has cancelled the contract in what may well be a case of buyer’s remorse.

11 Responses to “German Military Cancels Contract With CG Haenel for New Rifles After H&K Alleges Patent Infringement”

  1. Zach says:

    What glorious news! Should play out ugly over the next decade. I would rather see them with the 36 for eternity than some horrific clone.

  2. mudd says:

    An improved version of 416, a backwards engineered AR180/G36 by some of the same engineers who used to work for HK.

    However, Caracal actually listened to feedback and iterated a better version.

    • Rob says:

      HK is on the A7 variety of 416. Why do believe that they don’t improve their product or listen to feedback?

      Also what improvement do you think the Hanael shows over the more expensive and widely used HK product it copied?

      • mudd says:

        20 years of experience with their shit customer service… MP5 to MP7,the first 416 O yeah it’s supposed to have metal shavings ripped out of the upper… responsivness from the european side is lacking.

  3. Amer-Rican says:

    We learned everything we need to know about the UAE owned Caracal/Haenel with the Caracal pistols recalls.

    I’m glad H&K is suing Caracal/Haenel for alleged intellectual property infringement.

  4. Chris says:

    Okay, lets wait another 3 – 5 years for a new winner… bureaucracy sucks. The looser in this process is the german soldier.

  5. Dobb says:

    1. There is nothing wrong with the G36. The current G36KA5 is a reliable weapon.

    The german military lacks funding in all areas, a new assault rifle is not really important. Most aircraft and submarines are not deployable due to budget cuts and delayed repairs. Some pilots can not do training flights because there are not enough airplanes…

    2. Germany is the world leader in bureaucracy. This will take some time.

    3. The special forces alredy use the HK 416A7. It is called G95 in military terms. They used some special forces trickery to avoid bureaucracy, this will not work on a bigger scale 😉

  6. the hun says:

    The recent developed K98 should be the new apprioate german army rifle or a Dreyse Zündnadek-Rifle…

    Customer-grooming is so important!
    But now the lawyers are in involved, everything will be just work out perfect perfectly…
    100yard-restraint orders by the judges for soldiers to stay away from rifles?!
    The lawyer with a pen is mightier than…

  7. Wolf says:

    HK suing another company for patent violation ?
    Am I the only one to thank thaï HK AR polymer magazines are very close from Magpul ones ?

  8. mark says:

    Seems like the easy solution would be to simply upgrade their current G36’s to the modern ‘G36V’ configuration, similar to how the US has gone from M4->M4A1->M4 URG-I.