Estonia has chosen Finnish arms manufacturer Sako to supply its military with new sniper rifles.
The company’s TRG M10 8.6-millimeter sniper rifle bested the proposals of Haenel, Unique Alpine, and Desert Tech after a months-long selection process.
According to the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI), the Sako weapons are an improvement on the sniper rifles previously used by the Estonian Land Forces.
They are reportedly more accurate and stable than the TRG 42 8.6-millimeter sniper rifles from the same manufacturer.
“The Sako TRG M10 is well-known and widely used around the world, including in our neighboring countries,” ECDI manager Ramil Lipp said.
“For example, Sweden recently announced the purchase of a similar configuration, in addition to Sako’s other weapons. Therefore, this is a mature and experienced system in active production.”
The contract has a total value of 40 million euros ($43.9 million) and is expected to run for the next seven years.
Sako’s TRG M10 features a modular design that gives operators flexibility in assembling the weapon.
It is equipped with a suppressor and state-of-the-art optical and thermal sights to effectively operate in various weather and lighting conditions.
According to Estonian military official Major Risto Pärtel, the rifles will be used to eliminate high-value targets while remaining unnoticed.
They can hit enemy troops up to 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) away.
“The new rifles allow all of this to be done around the clock, equipped with top-of-the-line accessories such as suppressors and thermal sights. In addition to high accuracy, the rifles must also be durable and as compact and lightweight as possible,” Partel said.
The first order for 70 rifles is expected to be delivered in 2024.