Colt Canada has been contracted by the Canadian Government to deliver 6,820 new rifles for the Canadian Rangers.
The new rifles will replace the Lee Enfield rifle currently in service with the Canadian Rangers.
Induction of the rifles will start by early 2017, with is scheduled for completion by 2019.
Using these modern rifles, the soldiers can safely and effectively carry out surveillance and sovereignty patrols in Canada’s North.
Canada National Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said: “The Government of Canada remains committed to Canada’s North, its people, and our country’s sovereignty in this vast region.
“Today’s announcement on new Ranger rifles demonstrates our support for the women and men of the Canadian Rangers as they carry out their important northern operations and patrols.”
Under the C$32.8m ($25.4m) contract, production of the rifles will be carried out over the next three years.
The deal is expected to support 90 jobs at Colt Canada, in addition to creating almost 30 additional jobs in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
Canada Public Services and Procurement Minister Parliamentary Secretary Leona Alleslev said: “This contract will support existing jobs and will create new employment opportunities for middle-class Canadians.
“This procurement is an example of how we are meeting the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces while ensuring taxpayers are getting the best value for their money.”
The design of the new rifles is based on the Sako Tikka compact tactical rifle.
Over the past year, user testing by the Canadian Rangers demonstrated the need for minor modifications to the new design.
Image: Member of the Canadian Rangers explains the differences between the current Lee Enfield model (top) and the new rifle (bottom). Photo: courtesy of Government of Canada.