This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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I get your point about the g62 thing to a degree but if you look at the L85a2 and a3 saga, especially the cost factor, it quickly becomes apparent that often times fixing or overhauling a design beyond what should have been end of life can wind up being both obscenely more costly but also lengthy than just buying something off the shelf.
I think the L85 upgrade was a lot more torturous / a waste as the gun was out of production, so the parts had to be scratch produced as a one off, and also because the design itself was flawed and needed to be not just upgraded, but reworked internally.
That said, in both the L85 and the G36, no doubt getting a new rifle entirely would be optimal. But given the drama Germany has had with the replacement, and also the sort of transitory technological shift we may be in for this decade for firearms tech, an upgrade could be a prudent stopgap. Especially if Steyr is able to pull it off for a reasonable cost.
Upgrades, especially one this deep that requires a new receiver and other parts, are always going to cost more just by their very nature.
So think about this, when you decide to do an upgrade program you start pulling guns back to depots (that in itself costs money). You then start disassembling, gauging, sorting, and making lists of parts of each grade + parts you need to replace ones that come back out of spec. (Lots of money manpower, space, and time just in this step) you then with your pile of boxed up and separated out parts that are in varying conditions do what you can to refinish the parts that aren't utter crap(more time and money) you then gauge the parts again and sort them by where on the tolerance spectrum they fit(more of both again) you then get in the receivers and start assembling doing assembly qc factory testing and etc (more time and more money)
Finally you now have your pile of reassembled Frankenstein guns and you spend 3-12 months arguing with various units about which assembly grade of guns they should get back (more time and money)
I'm absolutely certain there's several intermediate steps I'm missing all of which will require time money personnel facilities and etc as well as the inevitable batches of guns you wind up buying to cover shortfalls so x or y unit can do thing z z1 & z2...
It's one of those situations that sounds good on paper to people who don't have a good hold on what something like this actually takes. To everyone who does though, it's pretty obviously a nightmare shit sandwich that's going to blow out both the budget and acceptable time interval badly in order to wind up with rifles that cost you twice as much as new ones without actually giving you the benefit of new guns.
Upgrade projects are often political and often go along these line ,politicians make money available , long as you are not buying new ,cost-efficacy is of little to no concern
Yeah, you get a feel for this given the full "optional" scope of the retrofit includes a new barrel, fore-end, mag well, etc. When you get to the point that all you're keeping of the original gun is the stock and trigger group, you're better off starting from scratch.
So think about this, when you decide to do an upgrade program you start pulling guns back to depots (that in itself costs money).
Hmm. Seems like a non-issue. Wouldn't the guns also be pulled back to depots in a replacement program, incurring the same costs?
In the replacement program you don't have to break down the guns sort and gauge the parts refinish them reorder out of spec pieces etc....
In a way going to a new rifle is "easier" on several fronts.
The expense situation could basically be a wash though. The one thing I'll say is that there's substantially less fun and interesting ways to fuck up a new gun over a bizarre we're basically going to replace everything but call it the same gun scenario.
Luckily for us we actually have a really good example of a shitshow exactly like this going on right now as we speak in the L85a3 situation which is somehow costing the Brits as much or more than HK gouges out of the USMC per 416!
(Around $2700 per gun for L85a3 and $3000 for 416's to the Marines)
Now If we look at what HK is charging the French per gun OTOH, which thanks to Emeric we know is right around half of what they charge the Marines, we can see that the British are quite literally paying twice as much per gun for a gun that's going to be actively worse than the 416.
What's really fun about this example is HK is doing the USMC contract the french contract and the Brit contract so we aren't even comparing apples to oranges!
The G36 is pretty much equally troubled to the L85 and the pitfalls are going to be much the same.
I personally hope the Germans are smart enough to acknowledge this cautionary tale and act accordingly.
(Around $2700 per gun for L85a3 and $3000 for 416's to the Marines) Now If we look at what HK is charging the French per gun OTOH, which thanks to Emeric we know is right around half of what they charge the Marines, we can see that the British are quite literally paying twice as much per gun for a gun that's going to be actively worse than the 416.
The USMC is paying much, much less now than 3000 $ per M27. I don't even know if they paid such a high price for the initial contract.
They WERE paying much less during the short time window when press attention and public outrage put a bunch of heat on HK, but a few months after the furor died down they raised the prices right back up again.
But yeah, the french are getting a far more reasonable price.
If the sticker shock per gun price wasn't enough that's only the beginning of hk's kicking and gouging of the USMC . One of the best ones is forcing USMC to buy a complete bolt carrier group whenever they need a replacement bolt (which is far more frequent than ideal ESPECIALLY with m855a1) and other fun little things like that.
The USMC did an extremely poor job negotiating their contract and it's costing them shocking amounts of money because of this.
It's sort of the polar opposite situation to what I'd wish upon the bundeswehr (and ultimately my own countries defense budget since every dollar the Germans overpay on guns is one less dollar that actually goes to their not even close to 2% spending obligation)
Then again, let's assume that the Germans try to go with the Steyr retrofit option...
Does anyone here seriously believe that HK isn't going to lawfare their way into dragging that approach to a standstill too?
Truthfully, they should probably just give up and buy 416's or 433's since we all know HK will happily bankrupt itself in pursuit of obstructionism if the bundeswehr tries to do anything but just hand over the money to HK.
As far as I remember, the other candidates were Galil and Sig 552. Sig one was too much expensive, and Galil was outdated. After that, HK achieved a monocultive position: Spanish MoD don't adquiere systems outside of Obendorf :(. And lately we even don't built them