New Zealand Defence Force invests in M107A1 and MRAD weapons

23 October 2017 (Last Updated October 27th, 2017 08:39)

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is investing in two new weapons that will be used by infantry units within the New Zealand Army and the New Zealand SAS.

New Zealand Defence Force invests in M107A1 and MRAD weapons
The New Zealand Defence Force is buying two new weapons. Credit: New Zealand Defence Force.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is investing in two new weapons that will be used by infantry units within the New Zealand Army and the New Zealand SAS.

The new weapons include the Barrett M107A1 anti-materiel weapon and Barrett multi-role adaptive design (MRAD) sniper rifle.

NZDF is set to invest NZ$4m ($2.82m) to acquire the 40 M107A1 and 42 MRAD weapons. The purchase will also include day optics, suppressors and ballistic computer auxiliary equipment to create a total weapon system.

Soldiers will be able to identify and effectively engage vehicle or installation targets with precision up to 1,500m using the 0.50-calibre semi-automatic M107A1 anti-materiel rifle.

The Barrett MRAD .338 Lapua Magnum is intended to replace the current AW 7.62mm-calibre sniper rifle, which will be retired from operational service in the near future.

It is capable of increasing the range of NZDF snipers, while the new tripods will increase the rifle’s ability to shoot in various positions, from prone to standing.

Both weapons will enter service from mid-2018.

“Soldiers will be able to identify and effectively engage vehicle or installation targets with precision up to 1,500m using the 0.50-calibre semi-automatic M107A1 anti-materiel rifle.”

The new weapons have undergone rigorous testing prior to their selection, with qualified operators providing feedback on the weapons’ performance.

The MRAD was selected after a six-week testing period at Waiouru, which featured a number of potential rifles and saw more than 10,000 rounds fired during a variety of evaluation activities.

NZDF’s adoption of the M107A1 follows a sole-source procurement approach and follows detailed market research and engagement with industry figures.

The NZDF also collaborated with ABCA partners to find a suitable anti-materiel weapon solution that meets the military’s needs.