The federal police is about to make one of the largest firearm investments in its history: the security agency wants its approximately 10,000 MP5 submachine guns from the manufacturer Heckler

The planned investment is causing discussions in the Federal Police. Because the MP5 were only retrofitted a few years ago. The authority could have saved this money if the weapons had been completely replaced earlier, according to the police union (GdP).

By replacing the MP5 with new so-called medium-range weapons, the federal police want to arm themselves, according to information from this newspaper, in particular for anti-terrorist operations. According to police sources, the new rifles should also be able to eliminate attackers with bulletproof vests over long distances. A spokesman for the federal police confirmed that the new weapon system should have “increased performance data”.

Heckler’s MP5

In 2018, the federal police had their MP5 retrofitted at great expense. Among other things, the weapons received new sights. The costs amounted to around three million euros. There were also costs for adapting the transport and storage systems and for retraining the emergency services who operate with the MP5.

In view of the age of the MP5 of up to 30 years and the comparatively low penetration of the weapon, retrofitting was questioned even then. The federal police, on the other hand, confirmed that the MP5 was “reliable” and met the requirements. “After the upgrade, this will remain the case for many years,” said a press release from the authority. The attachments could “reused in the future”.

The Federal Police evasively answered the question of whether the expensive retrofitting was not a mistake in view of the now planned replacement. “The conversion of the MP5 served to upgrade this weapon system,” said a spokesman for the authority. “The application value could thus be significantly increased.”

On request, however, the federal police admitted that a number of the attachments retrofitted at the time could “no longer be used” after the planned replacement of the MP5. Only the retrofitted target optics can continue to be used “if they meet the current requirements of the Federal Police”.

As early as 2016, the GdP called for the MP5 to be replaced in favor of new medium-range weapons. The expensive “pretty” of the old submachine guns brought little. “In my function as a staff councillor, I really tried everything to prevent this,” said trade union spokesman Steffen Ludwar. With the introduction of the new police rifle, the medium-distance weapon, the GdP requirements would now be met. “The federal police are on the right track here,” said Ludwar.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is aware of the Federal Police’s plans for replacing the MP5, as the authority informed this editorial team on request. According to a spokesman, the financing is to be “taken from the budgetary funds allocated to the Federal Police”. However, no information can currently be given on the amount of funding for individual investments.