The G36 assault rifle was designed by the Heckler & Koch company in the 90’s in Germany to replace the old HK G3. Its development started from the need of the German Bundeswehr and the Armed Forces of Spain to replace their regulatory rifles. The old veteran rifle CETME, for Spain, and in the HK G3 for Germany.
Initially known as the HK 50 project, the G36 rifle did not feature a completely new design, but departed from the base and features of other older designs, though adding innovative modifications.
The G36 is an assault rifle that fires standard 5.56 x 45 NATO munitions, capable of up to 750 rounds per minute. You can do it in semiautomatic mode or in bursts, thanks to a selector lever on the trigger. On the other hand, the short stroke gas piston system that uses keeps the cash drawer very clean, which prevents jamming. This means that cleaning is not necessary until after a very continuous use.
There are four main versions that can be found in the G36. Each of them differs only in the weight and length of the barrel and the forearm.
- G36 - Main Version: You can fire standard NATO rifle grenades and you can attach a bayonet knife. In addition you can attach loaders of 100 projectiles, bipod and grenade launcher AG36 40 mm.
- G36K - Carbine Version: It has a shorter gun and handguard. It has the possibility of folding the stock so it makes it ideal for closed spaces such as vehicles.
- G36C - Compact version: It has a very short cannon and handguard. In fact, it is the shortest 5.56mm carbine currently. Therefore it is ideal for operations in small spaces or in those situations where firepower and very compact weapons are required.
- MG36 - Light machine gun: Despite having the same length as the main version of the G36, the MG36 includes a heavier gun, bipod and a hundred-round bullet magazine.
Use in Spain
In Spain the assault rifle G36 is mainly used by the following forces and units:
- Armed Forces of Spain: Army, Navy and Air Force since 1999 to replace the CETME L. They use all variants of the G36 with all kinds of accessories.
- Special Operations Group (GEO): Unit of Special Forces of the National Police Force. They use the G36 with the AG36 grenade launcher attached.
- Police Intervention Unit (UIP): Unit of the National Police Corps that uses the G36C.
- Rapid Action Group (RAG): Unit of fight against terrorism of the Civil Guard that uses the G36K version.
- Reserve and Security Group (GRS): Reserve unit, support for territorial units and riot control of the Civil Guard that also uses the G36K version.
Nowadays, the G36 rifle has been selected to be an integral part of the Comfut initiative, to create the future Spanish fighter. In particular, it is about coupling a series of accessories and high-tech devices with which to help combatants and improve their efficiency and reaction in the field of combat.