It’s being reported here and there (for instance as Reddit) that this is a done deal, but it is not. It is a submission; the contractor proposes, but the Bundesregierung disposes. Here’s a look at it, beauty shot of the shorty version from the Gray Room or a trade-show display designed to look like it:
Before you ask, no you can’t have one. You know why.
Here’s a picture of two variants on the range. Naturally, Hah und Kah will make any variation on this it takes to cement the contract.
For more information, the always dialed-in Thomas Wiegold has a write-up at Augen Geradeaus. We’ll dispense with the translation and refer you to An Awful Google Translate link if you lack The Awful German Language.
Thomas provides the complete HK Press Release(.pdf) on the subject. We will translate it all if you guys want, but immediately here are some of the technical details.
The HK433 is a modular assault rifle in standard 5.56 x 45 mm NATO caliber that combines the strengths and the outstanding characteristics of the G36 and HK416 assault rifles, and thereby sets a new world standard. Further calibers like 7.62 mm NATO (HK231), .300 Blackout and 7.62 mm z 39 mm Kalashnikov (HK123) have been planned for conceptually, and form the basis of a weapons family. The HK433 has been developed taking into account the ever more complex conditions of asymmetric warfare in the broad combat spectrum of infantry and special operations units. Thereby the HK433 guarantees the unrestricted operational capability and safety. This is true under all climactic conditions and foreseeable combat situations by intuitive handling, combined with the highest modularity, precision and weapon safety.
The HK433 is an indirect gas-operated with a short-stroke gas system and a fully-locked optimized three-lug bolt. The monolithic upper receiver of forged aluminum has a full-length rail in accordance with NATO STANAG 4694. With the maximal length and limited sighting axis all sighting equipment and night-vision adapters available on the market can be mounted. In addition, a zero-maintenance and tamper-proof shot counter is built in to the receiver. The weapons data can be transmitted and archived wirelessly. The built-in bolt rails in the receiver ensure a constantly high safety and reliability of the weapon. The bolt is based on that of the G36, but has a firing pin safety and self-lubricating rails.
The side-folding, nonreciprocating charging handle is convertible without tools and so bilaterally usable. In addition it has an integrated bolt-closing assist function for reduced-noise chambering of a cartridges. While firing, the charging handle remains fixed in its position. On one hand, this increases the safety of the firer in stressful situations, on the other it opens up unlimited carrying and firing position options for him. By the ergonomically optimal positioning of the charging handle, the weapon can be held on target during reloading, and it can also be operated in the prone position without increasing the body’s exposure.
With the HK433 the shooter has six different barrel lengths at his disposal, so that the weapon can be fitted to any operational requirement. To this end Heckler & Koch offers barrels of 11″, 12,5″, 14,5″, 16,5″, 18,9″ and 20″. (Translator note: these inch values, not metric equivalents, are in the German press release). All barrels can be exchanged at operator or maintenance echelons.
The barrels are cold-forged, tempered and internally hard chromed. Through further optimization measures the previously already world-standard longevity of Heckler & Koch barrels has been further significantly increased. The barrels are produced with a further developed gas system, adjustable without tools for suppressor use, as well as a cut for the 40mm grenade launchers HK269 and GLM/GLMA1. Provisions for iron sights and bayonet lugs can optionally be provided on the barrels.
The new assault rifle from Heckler & Koch
The HK433 in the standard 5.56 x 45 mm NATO caliber combines the strengths as well as the outstanding characteristics of the G36 and HK416 assault rifles, and thereby sets a new world standard.
- Modular and light construction. Compact measurements
- Barrel length individually configurable. Simple barrel change at the end-user echelon
- Complete ambidextrous operation of the weapon for left- and right-handed shooters
- Nonreciprocating charging handle with integrated closure assist. Convertible to either side without tools
- Lower receiver with the ambidextrous controls of the G36 or HK416
- Drop-safe in accordance with AC225/D14 in on-safe or off-safe condition
- Upper receiver with a full-length STANAG 4694 rail at 12 o’clock, handguard with HKey interface at 3 and 9 o’clock, Picatinny rail IAW Mil-Std 1913 at 6 o’clock
- Folding, adjustable-length shoulder stock with a height-adjustable cheekpiece. Operation of the weapon is also possible with the stock folded
- Optional zero-maintenance shot counter in the receiver
- Toolless disassembly / assembly of major groups
- Safing the weapon is possible in all loading conditions
- Comprehensive suite of accessories
- 100% “Made in Germany.”
This isn’t the only HK news. They’re also locked in a lawsuit with Orbital ATK. HK management has decided that the XM25 weapon that they’ve been developing with Orbital for twenty-whatever years is now a violation of the Law of Land Warfare, and the sons of the inventors of phosgene gas and Zyklon B are now trying to pretend they’re blond and righteous Scandinavians (again) instead of the somewhat shifty Alpine tribes that trashed Rome. A cynic would say that HK is looking for a way out of a program where their technology proved unequal to their promises, but there are no cynics here, and surely the board of HK are honorable men.
Photos courtesy of HK
This post first appeared on weaponsman.com
WeaponsMan is a blog about weapons. Primarily ground combat weapons, primarily small arms and man-portable crew-served weapons. The site owner is a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S), and you can expect any guest columnists to be similarly qualified.