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Two new types of weapons are being bought by the New Zealand Defence Force [NZDF] at a cost of $4 million in order to replace infantry rifles. According to nzherald.co.nz, the NZDF announced recently that it was entering an agreement to buy 40 of the Barrett M107A1 anti-materiel rifle and 42 Barrett Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) sniper rifles. The cost includes day optics, suppressors and ballistic computer auxiliary equipment.
The anti-materiel rifle gives soldiers the ability to identify and engage vehicle or installation targets with precision to 1500 metres. Designed to be used with a suppressor, this rifle allows you to combine signature reduction capabilities with the flawless reliability of the original Barrett M107, but with a weight reduction of 5 pounds, according to barrett.net.
The Barrett MRAD .338 Lapua Magnum, selected after six weeks of testing various rifles, has been proven effective to 1500m. The MRAD has a user-changeable barrel system.
It replaces the current AW 7.62mm calibre sniper rifle, effective to 800m, which has reached the end of its service life, Chief of Army, Major General Peter Kelly said, he added that both rifles will be used by infantry units and will be introduced into service from mid-2018. “This new weapon will significantly increase the range of NZDF snipers, and with the innovation of new tripods will increase their ability to shoot in various positions, from prone to standing.”
Kelly said the new weapons would provide soldiers with the latest technology and ensure they would be equipped for any battlefield environment they might encounter.
“The new weapons were chosen after rigorous testing and feedback from qualified operators”, he concluded.