The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) has signed a contract with the Finnish company Sako for the procurement of new 8.6 mm sniper rifles for the Estonian Defence Forces and Defence League. The new rifles are an improvement on the previously used sniper rifles, being more accurate and more stable in shooting characteristics than the old model. Previously, Estonian Defence Forces have used the TRG 42 8.6 mm sniper rifles from the same manufacturer. The rifles from the winning bidder are an improvement on the previous model, being more ergonomic, and more stable in shooting characteristics, and more accurate. For example, the rifle is equipped with a suppressor, optical and thermal sights, enabling it to operate effectively in various weather conditions and lighting conditions.
“Our great thanks for The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments for the trust we have received. We are honored that the ECDI has selected our rifle to meet the end users’ exacting requirements. It is important to Sako that our products are widely appreciated among professionals around the world and this framework agreement proves it once again,” said Juha Alhonoja, General Manager of Sako Ltd.
“The Sako TRG M10 is well-known and widely used around the world, including in our neighboring countries. For example, Sweden recently announced the purchase of a similar configuration, in addition to Sako’s other weapons. Therefore, this is a mature and experienced system in active production,” said Ramil Lipp, Armament Category Manager of the ECDI.
Major Risto Pärtel, the Chief Armorer of the Defence Forces said, “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.”
The new 8.6 mm sniper rifle allows for long-range shots of up to 1500 meters. Additionally, the rifle has a modular design, giving the user flexibility in assembling the weapon system. The total value of the framework agreement for the next seven years is 40 million euros. There was fierce competition in the procurement, and a total of five proposals were submitted to the final round, with Sako making the best proposal for the required capability. At the beginning of this year, firing tests were conducted in Sirgala with different bidders’ weapons, including Sako, Haenel, Unique Alpine, and Desert Tech. The first order will be for approximately 70 rifles. The new rifles will be provided to both the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades of the Defence Forces and the Defence League. The expected delivery time for the new sniper rifles is 2024.