Deadly sniper rifleLight, highly adaptable and deadly accurate - the 7.62mm Heckler & Koch G28 is the United States (US) Army's latest marksman rifle.
// STORY TEO JING TING
// PHOTO COURTESY OF HECKLER & KOCH
Some say that once this marksman rifle lands in the hands of US soldiers, it will bode bad news for those who take them on.
The US Army will soon be using the 7.62mm Heckler & Koch G28 as their new Designated Marksman Rifle. It will replace the current M110 compact sniper rifle.
The German armament manufacturer promises that, compared to existing M4 carbines, the G28 rifle's accuracy and power allow infantry squads to hit targets and penetrate enemy body armour at longer ranges. It has also been used by German special forces and infantry in Afghanistan since mid-2012.
A military version of the civilian semi-automatic competition rifle MR308, the G28 uses standard 7.62 x 51mm rounds. The weapon is capable of an accuracy of 1.5 MOA (minute of angle).
This figure simply means that at a distance of 100 yards (about 90m), the weapon will be able to land bullets within 1.5 inches (3.8cm) of each other (this is termed as a "group").
At 200 yards, it will land a group of three inches and so on. An MOA of zero denotes absolute accuracy, which is a near impossible feat in reality.
Apart from having a maximum effective range and a high first-round hit probability of up to 600m, the rifle also allows for suppressive and accurate fire against man-sized targets at distances of up to 800m.
AT A GLANCE
Designed as a semi-automatic accuracy rifle, the G28 standard variant can be deployed with a sniper team or squad to augment bolt-action rifles and provide increased firepower.
Part of the G28's charm lies in its ability to adapt to different mission requirements. This is where its conversion kit comes in.
For instance, if the situation calls for a patrol or assault rifle to be used, soldiers can modify the G28 standard variant into a lighter patrol configuration by exchanging the handguard, scope and buttstock. This reduces its weight by almost a kilogram.
The G28 rifle is equally adept in the dark with night-vision and thermal-imaging accessories. In the hands of a skilled shooter, a rifle equipped with these add-on devices (paired with high-quality ammunition) will deliver a guaranteed first-round hit on a chest-sized target up to 600m away, even in the dark.
Other advantages include an "Over the Beach" capability that allows immediate firing of the weapon after emerging from water or in a partially submerged state.
Besides providing stronger armour penetration capabilities, the G28 is lighter, shorter, easier to carry and more ergonomic.
At 5.8kg, the rifle is about 1kg lighter than the M110. It is also about 63.5mm shorter than its predecessor.
The US Army is expected to purchase up to 5,000 G28 rifles by the end of the year.