BERLIN (AP) — The German government has chosen arms manufacturer Haenel, which is owned by a company in Abu Dhabi, to make assault rifles for the military, sidelining long-time supplier Heckler & Koch.
Germany’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that C.G. Haenel GmbH, based in the central German town of Suhl, came out top in the tender, though the 250 million-euro ($300 million) contract deal is subject to legal challenges.
Haenel is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Caracal International, which in turn is part of the United Arab Emirates state conglomerate EDGE Group.
Founded in 1840, Haenel was one of many German arms manufacturers to benefit from the country’s remilitarization under the Nazis. Toward the end of World War II it developed the StG 44 assault rifle, considered a major influence for the AK-47.
If the contract is approved by Parliament, Haenel will supply 120,000 rifles to the German military to replace the Heckler & Koch G36, which has suffered from overheating problems.