H&K AR25 7.62x51mm Assault Rifle

101Heckler & Koch AR25 7.62x51mm Assault Rifle

by Tim Wing, Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker, Chris Meadows and Robert Morgenstern

  • Year Introduced: 2016
  • Designer: Heckler & Koch
  • Acquiring Military: Bundeswehr, UEDF, REF/UEEF
  • Cartridge: 7.62x51mm NATO
  • Capacity: 20 round magazine, 30 round magazines available
  • Rate of Fire: selective fire – 650rpm or semi-automatic
  • Weight: 5.5kg
  • Length: 100 cm

Development:

By the end of the 2010’s, it had been pretty well decided by most militaries that the 5.56x45mm NATO round was no longer adequate for penetrating the increasingly effective personal body armor of the time. Additionally, most armies wanted their standard battle rifle to have some ability to penetrate the armor of a full sized Zentraedi, even if it was only the face shield. It was in this environment that shift back to the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge came about.

As originally conceived during the 1960s, the 5.56mm round was lighter, meaning that a soldier could carry more rounds for the same weight; it also had less recoil to allow for more accurate automatic fire. However, recoil compensation technology had improved considerably over the last 50 years, especially now with the likes of modernized optics such as the Holosun hs512c designed to fit rifle and carbine firearms such as the H&K AR25. More importantly, the larger size of the 7.62mm cartridge meant that it could deliver a greater armor-piercing or explosive payload with greater force. An accurate measurement of this can be made using a bullet chronograph in a controlled test environment. In this light, the 7.62mm cartridge could be developed in a range of specialized rounds, such as armor-piercing sabots and high explosive armor piercings.

After considering several competing bids, in 2020 the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) elected to adopt a variant of Heckler & Koch’s G50 as their standard infantry rifle. The G50 was accepted into UEDF service as the AR25 Wolverine. (Wolverine was simply an Anglicization of the German nickname for the rifle, the Vielfraß.) Versatile and rugged, the G50/AR25 was a fairly conventional design. Though it broke no new ground, it made up for it with typical Heckler & Koch accuracy, reliability and ease of handling. The standard G50/AR25 rifles could be fitted with the HK AG36 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It also could be fitted with the bayonets.101A
Design:

The receiver and most of the external parts of the G50/AR25 were made from reinforced polymers, with steel inserts where appropriate. The operating system was a standard short stroke gas piston, located above the barrel, square-shaped bolt carrier and the typical rotating bolt with nine locking lugs. The bolt carrier rides on a single guide rod, with the return spring around it. The charging handle is attached to the right of the bolt carrier, and is manipulated using a right hand. Later versions had a fully ambidextrous charging system. The gas block is fitted with the self-adjustable gas valve that expels all the used gases forward, away from the shooter. The ejection window is located at the right side of
the receiver and features a spent cases deflector to propel the ejected cases away from the
face of the left-handed shooter. A built in dust cover automatically slides over the open
ejection port when the bolt is charged to the rear. This dust cover can be pushed back open without riding the bolt forward, for the purpose of clearing the weapon.

The G50/AR25 uses a typical HK trigger unit is assembled in a separate plastic housing, integral with the pistol grip. The trigger itself lacked a trigger guard, but this was mitigated by a two stage trigger safety similar to that found Glock’s line of pistols. The baseline version was a select fire rifle wit single, two rounds burst and full auto. The ambidextrous fire selector lever served as the safety.

The G50/AR25 was fed from proprietary 20 and 30 round box magazines, made from high impact plastic. The magazine housings of the G50/AR25 were molded as a separate parts, so rifle can be easily adjusted to the various magazine interfaces. An 80-round dual drum magazine can be used (these magazines are standard for the MG50/AR25A2 squad automatic versions of the G50).

The standard sighting equipment of the G50/AR25 consisted of iron sights with a two position day/night rear aperture. A standard Picatinny-rail interface was molded into the top of the upper receiver, allowing the rifle to accept a wide variety of telescopic sights. For example, if someone wanted to fit a thermal scope onto the Picatinny-rail, they might read into this article on “How do Thermal Scopes work – the mystery solved” in order to learn more about how the new attachments may work on the rifle.

In service with the UEDF and the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF, later renamed the United Earth Expeditionary Force), the Wolverine was available in two chief variants: the AR25A2 Squad Automatic Weapon, which included a heavier barrel and usually a forearm grip and bipod for easier handling during rapid fire, and the baseline AR25A1 (pictured) which was limited to two-round bursts. The Wolverine was also available as the G50K (K for Kurz, or short) carbine with a much shorter barrel, but this variant was not used by the REF. In UEDF service it was known as the MP25A1.

AR-25 Wolverine 7.62x51mm Assault Rifle 3

Service History:

The G50 was first accepted into service by the Bundeswehr (West German Army) in 2016, shortly before that army ceased to exist with the signing of the Treaty of the Southern Cross, which created the UEDF.

The AR25 saw limited use within the UEDF, most frequently in the hands of the Global Military Police; by and large the Southern Cross preferred the lighter 5.56mm FA5 for anti-personnel and police work and their LR- and PR-series energy weapons for anti-armor. However, it served with distinction as the REF’s primary infantry rifle until the introduction of the FAL-2 and Gallant in the late 2020s.

In the light anti-armor role, the 7.62x51mm armour-piercing discarding sabot round proved to be quite formidable, especially the form of the depleted uranium SAR6-021. This round was capable of piercing the face shield and various weak points on Zentraedi body armor (though once through the armor, the small size of the round relative to the size of a Zentraedi soldier caused it to have negligible effect). It also able to pierce the main sensor eye of all Invid mecha. Against light Invid mecha, such as the Malar power armor and the Hellcat Type 1 Inorganic, the depleted uranium round was generally effective in penetrating most areas. The SAR6-021 could penetrate any and all body armor fielded by Earth militaries. The SAR9-019 tungsten carbide armour-piercing discarding sabot round was also effective, save against full size Zentraedi body armor and light Invid mecha. It could still pierce the sensor eyes of most Invid mecha, and was effective against all forms of body armor fielded by the armies of the Eastern Block Soviet Independent States.

Although many G50/AR25s found their way to anti-Invid Resistance fighters, they were rarely used in direct action against the Invid due to the scarcity of depleted uranium and tungsten carbide discarding sabot anti-armor loads necessary to damage Invid armor. Though the standard steal core armor piercing round could on occasion pierce the sensor eye of lighter Invid mecha, and its inability to pose a threat to larger Invid mecha with this more common round remained a liability.

Variants:

AR25A1 (G50) – Baseline AR25 Assault Rifle, select fire with single and two round burst.

G50E – Export version of the G50, various select fire option available.

AR25A2 (MG50) – Squad Automatic Weapon, select fire with single, two round burst and full automatic. Heavy, quick change barrel.

MP25A1 (G50K) – Carbine, select fire with single and two round burst, 22 cm barrel.

MP25A2 – Special Forces Carbine, select fire with single, two round burst and full automatic, 22 cm barrel.

Users

  • Federal Republic of Germany – Bundeswehr 2016-2017 (Note: former Bundeswehr units within the UEDF used this weapon from 2018.)
  • United Earth Government – United Earth Defense Force 2020-2032; Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force/United Earth Expeditionary Force 2020-2045
  • Australia – Australian Federal Police
  • Belgium – Antwerp local police
  • Brazil – Brazilian Federal Police
  • Canada – Victoria Police Department
  • Denmark – Politiets Aktionsstyrke
  • Finland – Finnish Border Guard, Finnish Police
  • Germany – Bundespolizei
  • Hong Kong – Hong Kong Police Force
  • Iceland – National Police of Iceland
  • Indonesia – Indonesian Army, Indonesian Navy
  • Italy – Italian Police
  • Jordan – Jordanian special forces
  • Mexico – Mexican Federal Police and many state and city police forces
  • Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines
  • Portugal – Polícia de Segurança Pública
  • United Kingdom – Greater Manchester Police, Specialist Firearms Command, Metropolitan Police Service, Royal Ulster Constabulary/Police Service of Northern Ireland, Civil Nuclear Constabulary
  • United States – United States Capitol Police, New Detroit Police Department, Cleveland Police Department

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Kogawa Tomonori, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Miyo Sonoda, Hiroshi Ogawa, Hirotoshi Ohkura and Takashi Ono (Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross); John Waltrip (Robotech II: Sentinels comic book).

Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized on Robotech Illustrated.

Content by Tim Wing, Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Chris Meadows and Rob

Copyright © 2006, 1999, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing