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German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future

A Latvian soldier demonstrates the Heckler & Koch G36 rifle at Camp Julian in Kabul, Afghanistan, in July 2009. Germany's defense minister says the widely used assault rifle has "no future" with the German military in its current form.

U.S. ARMY

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 22, 2015

BERLIN — Germany's defense minister says a widely used assault rifle has "no future" with the German military in its current form, escalating a dispute over its alleged shortcomings.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a "precision problem, particularly at high temperatures." Manufacturer Heckler & Koch has questioned those conclusions, complained about a lack of consultation and accused the government of damaging its reputation.

After parliament's defense committee met Wednesday, von der Leyen said another expert report finds "the G36 as it is constructed now has no future in the Bundeswehr," though she didn't rule out the possibility of using a modified version.

The G36 is a standard weapon for the German military, which currently uses more than 166,000 of them.

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