German Federal Court of Auditors (BRH) causing damage to reputation

  • In the absence of conclusive findings, the quality of the G36 rifle is put into question.
  • Numerous series of tests conducted by the Federal Defense Forces of Germany (Bundeswehr) found the G36 to be “absolutely reliable.”
  • Whose interests does the BRH actually represent?
  • Our customers trust the G36’s quality since 1996; used in over 30 countries.

Heckler & Koch is surprised to hear of the Federal Court of Auditors’ (BRH) unsubstantiated assertions concerning issues of limited accuracy with the G36. The G36 has a reputation as a distinguished quality product of the German defense industry and the Bundeswehr’s standard issue rifle. The BRH is a federal government agency without technical expertise in the defense sector; its statements accept – if not provoke –significant damage to Heckler & Koch’s reputation, whatever the validity of claims about the accuracy of the G36 may be.

It further adds to our irritation that - to this day - the BRH has not contacted Heckler & Koch to enable us to refute the alleged criticism of the G36. Instead, two national newspapers have published content from “classified” reports, evidently in an attempt to exert leverage on the German Ministry of Defense, which also serves as the procurement office.

It is in this context that Heckler & Koch reemphasizes the absolute reliability of its G36 rifle. All the previous investigations, including the most recent testing by the independent experts of the Fraunhofer Society’s (FhG) Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI) that took place 6 months ago, concluded that the G36 satisfies all requirements of an assault rifle. Any problems which may have occurred in the past concerning limited accuracy of heated-up G36 rifles could be attributed to specific lots of ammunition by one manufacturer and not to the G36 itself (please see also the February 21, 2014 press release “Gewehr G36 der Bundeswehr ist treffsicher” from the press office of the Bundeswehr, Office for Armaments, Information Technology and Implementation). Problems with this ammunition type have been resolved. Following the last round of testing, the Bundeswehr publically reconfirmed that the G36 comprehensively meets the high demands placed upon it by the Bundeswehr’s mission requirements.

For about two years now, interested parties have repeatedly raised these allegations about the G36’s reliability, undermining soldiers’ trust in the weapon. Since independent experts have repeatedly cleared the G36 of all criticism leveled against it, the following questions remain: In whose interest does the BRH act and how could internal investigative reports be leaked to the media? In our opinion, this requires a thorough, publicized investigation of the aforementioned proceedings.
It should be in the interest of a federal agency such as the BRH to quickly resolve the uncertainties it has created for our men and women in uniform and as a result to minimize the potential economic damage to Heckler & Koch. It is against this backdrop that Heckler & Koch urges the expeditious commencement of further testing which the BRH appears to deem necessary.

Heckler & Koch has been producing the G36 since 1996. The G36 is the standard issue rifle of the German Bundeswehr and of many allied nations. It has been introduced to over 30 countries. So far our customers have repeatedly confirmed the G36’s high quality and reliability. To date, the German Bundeswehr has procured 180,000 G36 rifles under the oversight of the Bundeswehr’s local quality inspection authority. Contrary to recent media reports, Heckler & Koch does not have any current, high volume procurement orders for the G36 from the German Ministry of Defense.

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