French Army to replace marksman rifle

#1
The French MoD has issued a tender to replace the current FR-F2 sniper rifle. 2,600 copies will be ordered with all related equipment (sights, night vision scopes, etc.). The rifle will be in the standard 7.62 x 51 mm NATO caliber.
The most ‘serious’ contender appears to be the HK-417, which was purchased in small numbers as part of a so-called ‘crash program’ for units deployed to Afghanistan and of course because HK has been selected to replace the FAMAS. The process is still in its early stages, the list of qualified bidders not being yet known.
Let’s see what the outcome will be.
 
#2
I wanted to post this earlier, a couple of days ago but the agenda... You know what I mean. Have you read the cahier des charges? It means no French firm is in a capability to compete. This is going to H.K. (ex Mauser).
Guaranteed.
 
#3
Sorry for “stealing your thunder” Petit Caporal. To be qualified, a supplier must meet a number of criteria, in particular the size of the company must be above a level that is not reached by any French manufacturer (but small suppliers are allowed to group and form an ad-hoc joint venture to attain the required ‘critical mass’).
PGM Précision, the manufacturer of the heavy sniping rifle Hécate II in .50 caliber (known as FR 12.7 in the Army) could be one of them, but you’re right, it’s unlikely. We'll see...
 

Surfguy

Super Active Member
#4
The French MoD has issued a tender to replace the current FR-F2 sniper rifle. 2,600 copies will be ordered with all related equipment (sights, night vision scopes, etc.). The rifle will be in the standard 7.62 x 51 mm NATO caliber.
The most ‘serious’ contender appears to be the HK-417, which was purchased in small numbers as part of a so-called ‘crash program’ for units deployed to Afghanistan and of course because HK has been selected to replace the FAMAS. The process is still in its early stages, the list of qualified bidders not being yet known.
Let’s see what the outcome will be.
Whilst the HK-417 is a damned good rifle it does not even come close to the AI AX in .338 Lapua in terms of long range precision sniper rifle.

AI
 
#6
Another obstacle for the French firms was is the production of scopes day and night and infrared. Doesn't really suprise me BTW, Pdt Macron is a banker after all. Buying from outside of France = no subsidies to maintain. H.K. is a solid firm and can easily achieve the requirements (Merkel's problem if not). Spare parts are not a problem either. Germany, I believe, are the 4th biggest arms dealer in the world.
 

SnafuSmite

Active Member
#7
Currently the FR-F2 fulfills the marksman and sniper roles. HK-417 has tons of battle proven variants, the US army have recently purchased a variant called the CSASS which is a more compact variant, as well as the M110A1 which is basically a Yank version of the G28 used by the Bundeswehr, which in turn is a modification of the MR762 civilian version. HK-417 is a tack driver under 800 m with reports that the G28 is capable of 1MOA up to 500 m which is incredible for a semi-auto rifle.
Then there's the FN SCAR, the LMT of the Brits, SR25 family of the Yanks and that's not even scratching the surface of semi-autos. It's to be seen whether the French will move towards a DMR type or stick with bolt action. I'm sure the request to industry will have more details.

G28_re_01.png
G28

images (1).jpeg
CSASS

images (2).jpeg
HK-417
 
#8
Currently the FR-F2 fulfills the marksman and sniper roles. (...)
Not exactly actually. The FR-F2 is the marksman (Tireur de précision in French) rifle, at platoon level, for targets up to 600 m, while the sniper (Tireur d'élite in French) rifle, at company level, is the Hécate II (known as FR-12.7 in the Army) in 12.7 x 99 mm caliber (standard NATO .50 BMG caliber). The Hécate II is made by the French small firm PGM Précision (which produces also the Ultima Ratio series, in smaller calibers). They are more on niche markets, providings weapons to such anti-terrorist intervention groups as the GIGN, RAID, etc. Selling and being able to provide spare parts for 100 rifles is within their capabilities, providing 2,600 copies (or more) is another story. But again, if they find a partner to mass produce their models, why not?
Accuracy International is also making very good precision rifles, but I don't see the French Army buying British weapons (potential political problems after the Brexit, etc.). Important to note that any supplier willing to compete will have to certify that the rifle and associated equipment he proposes have no components that could be subject to any form of governmental export license.
 

USMCRET

Active Member
#10
The standard US M-16 whichever variant is capable of easily shooting a point target at 600 meters. Everyone set their battle site zero to 300 meters.
 
#11
The USMC have a history of turning their standard service rifles into highly accurate DMRs, the gunsmiths at Quantico are top notch. Ranging from the M14 that in turn got converted in the M21 and later M39, and then the M16 family that was converted to the S-AMR and more recently their M27 IAR into the M38. All variants have excelled at the DMR role.
 
#13
Source : France bleu
The firm, from Saint-Étienne, Verney-Carron, wants to stay in the course (to obtain the contract)
For memory : the contract for the French army's future sniper rifle, requires a minimum the company to have an annual revenue of 50 M€.
Actually, no French firm meets this criterion. Verney-Carron with their 13 M€ turnaround hopes to be qualified to compete obtain by creating a joint-venture with other French small arms manufacturers. We shall see.
 
#15
It all depends on the offerings I suppose, there is no way they are going to design a new rifle, the market's already flooded. It all depends on what the French military wants, if its a bolt action then PGM definitely has a chance. Maybe making a less intricate model of their mini hecate. If the army wants a semi-auto, its only going to be out of country, with French adapations, just like the HK416F.
 
#16
https://www.janes.com/article/82489/france-issues-tender-for-sharpshooter-rifles

https://www.tactical-life.com/news/french-armed-forces/

Righto so according to the tender the French are looking for a semi-automatic.
My money is on the G28 version of the HK417, they get shipped to the Bundeswehr in a package that includes night sights and other optics.
The rifle will be called the Fusil de Précision Semi-Automatique, or FPSA.

The tender also includes 6 million rounds of ammo split between AP and Precision.
 

Surfguy

Super Active Member
#17
The HK417 is a proven design and HK417 clones are easy to build to a high standard , no huge lay out for tooling, there are several small independent gunsmiths/engineers in the UK who build AR10 and AR15 variants , the only thing they dont make is the barrels which come from either Sassen UK or Lother Walther , Germany.
Verney-Carron may not be known for turning out anything that spectacular but I know they have the capability to build AR10`s to a high standard , whether the Ministère des Armées will give them a chance I dont know.
 
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#19
It all depends on the offerings I suppose, there is no way they are going to design a new rifle, the market's already flooded. It all depends on what the French military wants, if its a bolt action then PGM definitely has a chance. Maybe making a less intricate model of their mini-hécate. (...)
PGM has the same drawback as Verney-Carron, cited by le Petit Caporal : too small a company. As I said before, they can produce and provide after-sales service for small series, but producing 2,600 copies is another story.
 

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