Australia Investing $500M in Next-Gen Weapons
The Australian government is investing 500 million Australian dollars ($325 million) in next-generation weapons and equipment for the Australian Defence Forces.
Major General Andrew Bottrell said an agreement had been signed with Queensland-based firm NIOA for the service’s Lethality System Project Tranche 1.
As part of the deal, the firearms manufacturer will enlist the help of subcontractors to develop and supply new sniper rifles, shotguns, pistols, and other personal defense weapons.
The contract also includes munitions and ancillary equipment, including optical and laser systems for the small arms.
“NIOA will be the prime contractor, working with local and international suppliers and weapon manufacturers on the acquisition, integration, delivery, and ongoing support of the new weapon systems from 2023,” Bottrell said.
The weapons and equipment are expected to be delivered by the mid-2020s.
‘Bold Step Into Modern Weaponry’
Among the specific weapons Australia will procure are M107A1 rifles manufactured by Barrett Firearms.
They will be equipped with precision optics, night vision systems, and rangefinding devices.
The country will also purchase the SIG Sauer MCX .300 Blackout caliber to provide dismounted soldiers with a light, modular, and compact weapon system that can be rapidly optimized for a variety of missions.
Additionally, Canberra will acquire a sniper surveillance capability to enable Australian snipers to engage targets day and night.
“This is a bold step into modern weaponry to quickly improve Australia’s defense preparedness,” Bottrell stressed.
“The collaboration between Defense and industry means we will acquire the best available weapon systems for our troops.”