The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will spend R30m ($4.08m) on the maintenance, repair and modification of its ageing R4 and R5 assault rifles.

As part of the rifle modification program, South African arms acquisition agency Armscor has awarded three contracts to Denel Land Systems Lyttelton to update the carbine holdings of the R4 and R5 rifles, according to

The South African Army is currently using the R4 rifles, while R5 carbine rifles are being used by the SA Air Force, SA Navy and Military Health Service.

SANDF corporate communication director Brigadier General MM Visser said the R4 and R5 rifles have proven to be a reliable companion to many soldiers over the years.

“This is a normal maintenance and repair programme by the industry over a three-year period,” Visser said.

According to Visser, the SA Department of Defence and Armscor are investigating options to replace the said rifles in the future.

The SA Army is also spending about R3.4m ($462,994) to upgrade its ageing Milkor Y2 multiple grenade launchers.