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Estonia to get new sniper rifles from Sako

Photo: Sako Ltd.

The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments has signed a 40 million euro framework agreement with Finland’s Sako for the procurement of new TRG M10 8.6 mm sniper rifles to enhance military capabilities for the next seven years.

With this choice, Estonia is upgrading its armed forces’ existing Sako TRG 42 8.6 mm sniper rifles. The winning bidder designed new rifles that are more ergonomic, lighter, and boast improved accuracy and stability in shooting characteristics.

The rifle comes equipped with various features such as a suppressor, optical and thermal sights that enable it to operate with effectiveness in diverse weather and lighting conditions, and its modular design allows users flexibility in assembling the weapon system, while also having the capacity for long-range shots of up to 1500 meters.

Sako was one of five companies with proposals submitted for consideration in the final round. Ultimately, the company’s pitch was deemed the best in terms of meeting the required capability, according to the Estonian defense ministry.

Major Risto Pärtel, the chief armorer of the defense forces, said that the primary mission of snipers is to eliminate high-value targets while maintaining a low profile and remaining undetected.

“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,” he said.

“We are very pleased to have our TRG M10 system selected for the Estonian defense forces. It is an honor to be part of developing the Estonian Armed Forces’ sniper capability and I trust this contract further strengthens the cooperation with our neighboring country and ally,” Sako defense director Juuso Austin said.

Around 70 rifles will be included in the first order, with distribution to both the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades of the Estonian defense forces and the defense league, a voluntary national defense organization operating under the defense ministry’s umbrella. The delivery of the new sniper rifles is slated for 2024, providing time for training and preparation for their deployment.