France Orders New Sniper Rifles, Automatic Pistol
(Source: French Ministry of the Armed Forces; issued Jan. 06, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
Having decided its small arms industry was no longer viable, France has now ordered new SCAR precision rifles for its army marksmen and Glock automatic pistols for all service, in addition to the H&K HK416F assault rifles whose deliveries continue. (DGA photo)
PARIS --- Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the notification by the General Directorate of Armament (DGA), on December 13, 2019, of a procurement contract for 2,620 semi-automatic precision rifles (FPSA) of the SCAR type (Special Combat Assault Rifle). The first deliveries will take place in 2020.

Designed by a group of manufacturers (OIP Sensor Systems and Telefunken-Racoms, associated with gunmaker FN Herstal and the company MEN), this new rifle will replace weapons in service since the 1980s. It will allow marksmen in our armed forces to maintain superiority over the adversary, day and night, for precision shots up to a distance of 800 meters.

The Military Planning Law (LPM) 2019-2025 is placed "at man-height." Designed to maintain the operational superiority of the French armies, it focuses on improving the equipment and protection of our soldiers, sailors and airmen deployed on foreign theaters of operations.

The DGA has chosen the winner of the competitive procedure launched in 2018 to replace the FR-F2 rifle: the industry team made up by OIP Sensor Systems (Optics and Precision Instruments) and Telefunken-Racoms (optoelectronics) FN Herstal (weapon and telescope) and MEN (ammunition). These manufacturers will produce the semi-automatic sniper rifle (FSPA) type SCAR-H PR (Precision Rifle). The same caliber as the FR-F2 (7.62 mm), the FSPA will be equipped with day and night optics.

This contract represents a total investment of around 100 million euros. The 2,620 planned rifles, their accessories and their ammunition will be delivered by 2022. The first deliveries will begin at the start of 2020.

After a call for applications from French and European companies, the offers were evaluated by the DGA, in close collaboration with the armed forces. Carried out during 2019, the weapon testing campaign marked the high point of this competition. It was carried out by engineers and technicians from the DGA Land Techniques and Testing Center in Bourges with the support of soldiers from the Satory Land Technical Section (STAT).

The adoption of the SCAR-type FSPA marks a new stage in the renewal of the small arms of our armies. Initiated in 2017 with the first deliveries of the HK 416F assault rifle, this program carried by the LPM also provides for the acquisition of new automatic pistols (procedure in progress). The French military will therefore have a new range of small arms among the most efficient in the world.

Main features of the 7.62mm SCAR-H PR (Precision Rifle)

This rifle is intended to equip the snipers of our armed forces. It will allow them to maintain superiority over the adversaries they face in the theaters of external operations. Known as the "eyes of the section chief", snipers participate in the protection of their units by performing long-range observation, intelligence and target neutralization missions. It is a crucial and risky mission. The range of a sniper rifle is approximately 800 meters, compared to 300 for other soldiers' rifles.

-- Length: 102 cm
-- Weight: 6.75 kg in combat order, with magazine fitted with 20 cartridges
-- Caliber: 7.62 x 51 mm
-- Number of rounds per magazine: 10 and 20

Additional equipment: IL (light intensification) and IR (infrared) modules for night shooting or in poor visibility, sound suppressor, carrying case, precision ammunition and armor-piercing ammunition.

Story history:
-- Jan 07 @ 17:30 CET: added video from French Army's Twitter account.


The Ministry of the Armed Forces Renews Semi-Automatic Pistols for the French Forces
(Source: French Ministry of the Armed Forces; issued Jan. 06, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
PARIS --- Florence Parly welcomes the order of the new semi-automatic pistols for the French forces.

By 2022, more than 74,000 pistols will have been delivered. The first deliveries began at the end of 2019.

This equipment, essential to the combatant, embodies the efforts "at human height" provided for by the Military Planning Law.

A total of 74,596 semi-automatic pistols (PSA) were ordered by the French Armaments Directorate. This contract was awarded to the company Glock (pistol and night aiming aid) which teamed with the companies Sellier and Bellot (ammunition) and UTM (training kit).

The French Army will take up most of the 74,596 Glock 17 semi-automatic 9mm pistols being bought by France to replace older models.
These new-generation pistols will replace those currently in service: the PA MAC 50 (Automatic Pistol from the Arms Manufacture of Châtellerault) which date back to the 1950s, and the PAMAS G1 (Automatic Pistol from the Arms Manufacture of Saint-Etienne). The value of this contract is 44 million euros.

The three armies - land, air and navy - as well as certain joint services are concerned by this acquisition. The planned distribution is in the order of 80% of weapons for the army, 10% for the air force and 8% for the navy. The key factors that led the Ministry of the Armed Forces to accept this offer are the reliability and robustness demonstrated during the tests, essential qualities for military equipment intended to be used in the event of rapid action, and the need for self-protection.

The adoption of these new semi-automatic pistols is part of a broader desire for new “personal equipment” intended for the French forces:
-- The arrival of new assault rifles, which has been delivered since 2017. In 2020, 12,000 new HK416F rifles will arrive in the units.
-- The start of deliveries in 2020 of a new sniper rifle (SCAR, Special Combat Assault Rifle) for French marksmen. More than 2,600 will be delivered by the end of 2021.
-- The continuation of deliveries of the new battledresses in the forces in 2020. 85,000 F3 flame retardant battledress will be delivered to the units, thus making it possible to equip from this year all the soldiers deployed in OPEX.
-- The delivery of 9mm composite burst and bulletproof helmets: in 2020, 25,000 helmets will be delivered.
-- Finally, 37,000 new generation bulletproof vests have already delivered between 2018 and 2019, the target by 2025 being 96,800 deliveries within the forces.

These deliveries are essential to the mission of deployed soldiers, whose equipment must meet the best standards. The protection of the combatant is indeed one of the priorities of the policy led by Florence Parly.


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