Home Europe Finland kicks off homegrown rifle development project

Finland kicks off homegrown rifle development project

Finnish sniper
Photo: Finnish defense forces

The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has signed a letter of intent with Finnish rifle specialist Sako Ltd for the research and development of a family of rifles for the country’s armed forces.

The rifle system is intended to consist of two different system configurations including a sniper rifle and a semi-automatic rifle for the squad’s designated marksman.

The letter of intent is related to the long-term development of the sniper capability in the Finnish defense forces.

“Sako Ltd’s roots are deeply set in the Finnish defense industry. We value greatly the trust that the defense forces has shown us and have the deepest appreciation for our cooperation,” Raimo Karjalainen, Sako’s general manager, said.

The cooperation has the objective of developing a new sniper rifle and designated marksman rifle conforming to the armed forces’ capability requirements, and preparing the procurement of these weapons.

“The project to develop a new platform of self-loading rifles is of utmost commercial and strategic significance for Sako’s defense and law enforcement business. Our defense and law enforcement business unit is an integral part of the Beretta Defense Technologies strategic alliance,” Arto Kaikkola, business unit director, added.

The Finnish defense procurement agency said it was open to other countries joining the development work. The letter of intent was signed at the Defence Forces Logistics Command’s headquarters in Tampere on May 25.