The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has launched a study of ten weapons systems to identify upgrade potential and alternative options.

The upgrade programme, to be complete in 2014, will cost NZ$33m.

The study will look at modifying Steyr rifles, replacing the Minimi light machine gun, first introduced in 1988, 9mm Sig-Sauer pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles and the Carl Gustav anti-tank weapon.

The NZDF says demands from different environments will be taken into account, as the same weapon may be used to fire at a target 400m away in Afghanistan, or 10m away in jungles.

By staff writer