The German Ministry of Defense has brought the G95K assault rifle to the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) for intense scrutiny in real-world conditions.
Like the currently fielded G36, the G95K is a NATO-compatible 5.56 x 45 mm rifle with a high rate of fire. The G95K, however, boasts a lighter weight and improved safety lever, as well as a higher resistance to corrosion and abrasion. The German Special Commando Forces are interested in adopting the new, more-versatile weapon, but first wanted to subject it to rigorous operational testing in realistic natural environments.
Germany’s temperate environment lacks the extreme conditions German soldiers have faced in recent years in places like Afghanistan, which makes YPG a coveted spot for testing.
U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground conducts testing in three of the world’s most punishing extreme climates, and testers from friendly foreign nations have long utilized the installation to subject their military equipment to rigorous environmental testing.
“This rifle has already gone through all the technical tests,” said Luis Arroyo, chief of YPG’s Training and Exercise Management Office (TEMO). “This portion is the user input into the piece of equipment–these soldiers will use the rifle in a way soldiers typically use a rifle.”
Simultaneously, soldiers participating in the test also tested a new night vision goggle. For this test, participants started by calibrating the sights of their weapons and conducting simple drills and maneuvers against a wide variety of paper and reactive targets on one of YPG’s rifle ranges.
During this phase of the testing, a 120-watt radar dish was employed to measure the fired weapon’s muzzle velocity and verify a round’s trajectory in the extreme weather. Following this, the soldiers performed realistic team and squad maneuvers across a wider portion of the range. The use of live ammunition and the fact that much of the operations were conducted at night meant ensuring safe operations was particularly important.