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DAKS Brochure, Page 6-7

The Company History of Heckler & Koch

1949 Heckler & Koch is entered into the business register in Oberndorf, Germany on December 28. The founders of the company are the three former Mauser engineers Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch and Alex Seidel.

1952 The headquarters of the company is moved from the narrow Neckar valley to the upper part of the city, Oberndorf-Lindenhof.

1958 After years of being prohibited from arms production, the nation obtains a license for the assault rifle G3.

1959 The G3 becomes the standard weapon of the German army.

1961 The first G3 license is sold to the regime of the dictator Salazar in Portugal.

1966 The company’s own shooting range is inaugurated in Aixheim, 30 kilometers from Oberndorf.

1974 The company is 25 years old and employs 2000 people.

1975 The US branch of Heckler & Koch Inc. in Arlington, Virginia is opened (moved later to Chantilly and Sterling).

1981 At the beginning of the 80‘s military and civil production are separated. The civil machine production and the sector for facility production become the Heckler & Koch Machine and Facility Production. The production of weapons, however, is the main business of the company.

1988 H&K has received export permits for the G3 to 80 states, 15 states have a license to produce the rifle.

1991 On January 1, H&K is completely taken over by Royal Ordnance, a daughter of British Aerospace Plc (known as Bae Systems today).

1993 After a nationwide protest campaign a speaker of the Hardthöhe confirms that the army will not be equipped with the G11.

1995 Members of the Armaments Information Office, a non-profit organisation, are able to get the mercenary soldier magazine “Soldier of Fortune”, which carried advertisements for H&K weapons, withdrawn from the German market.

1995 The H&K manager Rolf Gminder is fired on December 13 for the illegal possession of weapons.

1996 The first production lottery for the G36 is introduced in September to the Crisis Reaction Forces of the German army. In the following years the G36 is used in out-of-area interventions.

1997 Completion of the new H&K factory building on the Lindenhof in July.

1999 The Spanish government decides that the Empresa Nacional Santa Barbara will produce 100 000 G36E for the Spanish forces in the coming five years.

2002 The sale of Heckler & Koch to a newly founded H&K-Participation-GmbH is confirmed on December 6. The owners are the H&K managers Ernst Mauch and Dr. Dirk Holzknecht, the detergent producer Andreas Heeschen and the British weapons dealer Keith Halsey.

2004 In the new weapons factory in Georgia, USA, which is now being built, 200 workers will produce small arms primarily for the
US market in the future.

2005 The new assault rifle XM8, which was developed on the basis of the G36, is planned to be introduced into the US-Army. The grenade-thrower XM25 is being tested in cooperation with a consortium of firms (Alliant Techsystems ATK, USA, among others). Later, both weapons are to be combined into one weapons system, the “Objective Individual Combat Weapon” (OICW).

2021 The production of about 900 000 XM8 rifles is planned in the new HK-weapons factory in Columbus, Georgia, USA by the beginning of the twenties.

Jürgen Grässlin

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