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Australia releases tender for new compact sniper rifle

SR-98 rifle
Illustration: Australian Army file photo of a sniper reloading his Accuracy International SR-98 sniper rifle.

The Australian defense ministry has issued a request for tender (RFT) for the delivery of a Compact Anti-Personnel Sniper Capability (CAPSC) for the Australian Army.

As explained by the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Land Systems Division, which is responsible for acquiring and sustaining designated land systems for the Australian armed forces, the CAPSC is expected to be designed to enable the engagement of targets at short ranges.

More specifically, the new compact sniper shall be chambered for 7.62mm NATO cartridges or .308 Winchester Cartridges and should engage targets up to 1000 meters with a low firing signature.

It was noted that the CAPSC system should be based on Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) or Military Off The Shelf (MOTS) subsystems with a high technology readiness level.

The intent is to have the CAPSC integrate with Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) or Windows Tactical Assault Kit (Win TAK) and facilitate the transfer of battlefield information to/from the operator.

The Australian Army plans to order first samples from shortlisted bidders in September this year and complete testing by September 2022. An initial task order is expected to be negotiated by November 2022.

While not specifically mentioned, the CAPSC system could be a replacement for the SR-98 rifle which was acquired in the late 1990s. The magazine-fed, bolt-action rifle has an effective range of around 800 meters.