The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract for new sniper rifles to British firm Accuracy International.

The £4m contract calls for 580 rifles with telescopic sights.

The new sight can be fitted with a suppressor allowing the sniper to get closer to the enemy and has been fitted with a butt spike to aid stability during fighting.

The rifles, which fire a larger caliber than existing sniper rifles, are being supplied as part of the Sniper System Improvement programme.

Other programme elements include night sights, spotting scopes, laser range finders and tripods.

The MoD says the rifles will be delivered early next year.

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