October 5, 2016 / 1:36 PM / a year ago

Germany says will not appeal court ruling on Heckler & Koch rifle case

BERLIN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The German defence ministry said it will not appeal a Sept. 2 court ruling saying that the government has no right to compensation from Heckler & Koch (IPO-HIK.L) for what Berlin says were faulty G36 assault rifles.

The ministry will now focus on continuing its efforts to procure a successor model to the G36 rifle after it is retired in coming years, state secretary Markus Gruebel told lawmakers in the letter.

The ministry has previously said it expects to launch a procurement for a new rifle before the end of the year.

The case demonstrates the importance of measures the ministry is taking including beefing up its legal expertise and writing more detailed provisions into contracts, Gruebel said.

Berlin has said the G36, which is standard issue for militaries across the globe and has been used by the German army for nearly 20 years, does not shoot straight in hot weather or when it heats up through constant firing.

Berlin, which has bought about 180,000 of the rifles since 1996, sought compensation for about 4,000 of the rifles it received from Heckler & Koch.

The maker said the rifles it delivered complied with the specifications agreed with the government in 1996.

While the court did not comment on whether the rifles shoot straight when they heat up, it said they met the specifications set out in the purchase contracts. The rifles also passed the quality and acceptance testing laid out in the contracts, it said. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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