Top shooters tested new sniper weapons at the Sirgala training ground
New 8.6 mm calibre sniper rifles were tested yesterday at the Sirgala training ground with the participation of several multinational companies and their top shooters. The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) has announced a tender for the procurement of sniper rifles for the Estonian Defence Forces and the Defence League, with test firings carried out to assess the technical suitability of the weapons for the tender. The winner of the arms tender will be announced this spring.
The purpose of the test firing is to test the accuracy and reliability of the weapon achieved by the combination of the weapon, optical sight, and other accessories. ‘The sniper rifle kit being tested must ensure high accuracy. Currently, it is our task, together with the Defence Forces, to make sure that the weapon systems being tested meet the tender requirements for accuracy and reliability. It is good to see that internationally renowned companies present here today are interested in our tender,’ said Ramil Lipp, Armament Category Manager of the ECDI.
The weapons being tested are those of Sako, Haenel, Unique Alpine, and Desert Tech and include accessories selected by the tenderers and fitted on the weapons as a kit. Each tenderer has assembled a proposed system with freely chosen accessories and equipment in compliance with the requirements of the contracting authority. Major Risto Pärtel, Chief Weapons Officer of the Defence Forces, said that the task of snipers is to eliminate high-value targets while remaining undetected. ‘Using the new rifles, it can be done at any time of the day, as the weapons are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment like silencers and thermal weapon sights. In addition to high accuracy, the weapons must also be robust and as compact and light as possible. The new weapons will replace the current Sako TRG-42 sniper rifles in service,’ Major Pärtel added.
Furthermore, the weapon must be capable of shooting accurately over long distances of up to 1,500 metres.
The evaluation criteria are the price of the weapon and accessories, the weight and length of the weapon, and the maintenance costs, that is the life of the barrel and the cost of a set of spare parts.
Once the test firings have taken place and the results have been evaluated, a contract will be awarded to the successful company in the second quarter of this year. The expected delivery date for the new sniper weapons is 2024.