Estonia to acquire new sniper rifles from Sako Ltd.
26 April 2023 – The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) has signed a contract with Sako Ltd. for the procurement of new 8.6 mm sniper rifles for the Estonian Defence Forces and Defence League. The new rifles are an improvement on the previously used sniper rifles, being more accurate and stable in shooting characteristics. The total value of the framework agreement for the next seven years is 40 million euros.
“The Sako TRG M10 is well-known and widely used around the world, including in our neighboring countries. For example, Sweden recently announced the purchase of a similar configuration, in addition to Sako Ltd’s other weapons. Therefore, this is a mature and experienced system in active production,” said Ramil Lipp, Armament Category Manager of the ECDI.
Previously, Estonian Defence Forces have used the Sako TRG 42 8.6 mm sniper rifles. The rifles from the winning bidder are an improvement on the previous model, being more ergonomic, lighter, and more accurate.
For example, the rifle is equipped with a suppressor, optical and thermal sights, enabling it to operate effectively in various weather and lighting conditions. Additionally, the rifle has a modular design, giving the user flexibility in assembling the weapon system. The weapon system allows for long-range shots of up to 1500 meters.
Major Risto Pärtel, the Chief Armorer of the Defence Forces, said that snipers’ task is to eliminate high-value targets while remaining unnoticed. “The new rifles allow all of this to be done around the clock, equipped with top-of-the-line accessories such as suppressors and thermal sights. In addition to high accuracy, the rifles must also be durable and as compact and lightweight as possible.”
“Our great thanks for The Estonian Centre for Defence Investments for the trust we have received. We are honored that the ECDI has selected our rifle to meet the end users’ exacting requirements. It is important to Sako that our products are widely appreciated among professionals around the world and this framework agreement proves it once again,” said Juha Alhonoja, General Manager of Sako Ltd.
There was fierce competition in the procurement, and a total of five proposals were submitted to the final round, with Sako Ltd. making the best proposal for the required capability.
”We are very pleased to have our TRG M10 system selected for the Estonian Defence Forces and Defence League. It is an honor to be part of developing the Estonian Armed Forces’ sniper capability and I trust this contract further strengthens the cooperation with our neighboring country and ally,” says Juuso Austin, Director of Defence & LE Business Unit, Sako Ltd.
The first order will be approximately for 70 rifles. The new rifles will be provided to both the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Defence League.
The delivery of the new sniper rifles is scheduled for 2024.
File photo courtesy Sako