Home Europe Finland signs on for new snipers, marksman rifles

Finland signs on for new snipers, marksman rifles

Finnish marksman
Photo: Finnish defense ministry

The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command is poised to sign a contract with local rifle specialist Sako Oy for the procurement of a new rifle system.

The contract covers the purchase of a semi-automatic sniper rifle for sniper use and a designated marksman rifle for use as an infantry section support weapon by designated marksmen. In addition, the contract includes accessories, spare parts, maintenance equipment and training provided by the manufacturer.

Semi-automatic sniper rifle 23, as the new systems will be named, is equipped with a high-quality optical sight that together with precision ammunition enables snipers to achieve effects in different targets up to a distance of 800 meters.

Designated marksman rifle 23 is more simplified in its weapon-mounted equipment, and designed for use by jaeger and infantry sections designated marksmen. This weapon increases the sections range up to 600 meters.

Based on the AR10/15 models of a semi-automatic rifle in 7.62 NATO caliber, Rifle System M23 features additional benefits compared to the currently fielded one, such as integrated weapon-mounting available for versatile accessories, including tactical night sights, and suppressors, increased accuracy, as well as a design that is both lightweight and ergonomic.

The procurement was preceded by a development collaboration between Sako and the Finnish Defence Forces under a letter of intent signed in May 2020.

The rifle system has been developed together with Sako, and the weapons will be produced in Finland, the defense ministry noted.

Furthermore, the Minister of Defence authorized the country’s defense procurement agency to sign an implementation arrangement with Sweden that authorizes carrying out a joint procurement effort by Finland and Sweden.

The implementation arrangement signed on 21 December 2021 is a continuation of the collaboration effort agreed on earlier in September, as part of which Finland and Sweden signed a technical arrangement concerning joint procurements of weapons systems and associated technologies.

The first lot of deliveries will be received by the Army by the end of 2022, and the rifle system training is due to begin during 2023.

The total value of the procurement including the value added tax is 10 million euros. The contract includes an additional procurement option for Finland, the total value of which is 525 million euros. Sweden’s additional procurement option will be specified at a later point in time.