Estonian troops to receive 16,000 new assault rifles
The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (Riigi Kaitseinvesteeringute Keskus) has announced that the U.S. arms company Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT) became the winner of the contest for a contract to supply automatic assault rifles.
According to a statement, announced on 4 December, at the proposal of the Tender Committee, Col. Rauno Sirk, director of the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI), declared the offer submitted by LMT the most successful tender in the procurement, spokespeople for the ECDI.
“The committee appraised in the first place the reliability and dependability of the weapons as well as the economic feasibility, ie the total cost of the project,” Sirk said. “It is our goal to buy an automatic firearm that is precise, handy and dependable in different weather and environmental conditions. The cost of the transaction was not of lesser importance either. In this, we evaluated the life cycle cost, not just the purchase price of the weapons and additional equipment, and we took into consideration the costs that have to be incurred over the next 20 years.”
LMT was declared the winner in the tender for the supply of 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm assault rifles for the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) and the country’s other armed structures.
Under the planned contract, Estonia will buy some 16,000 firearms with additional equipment for €22 million over the years 2019-2021. The contract must also include an option for the purchase of additional weapons through 2026.
Estonian Defence Forces are currently equipped with two rifles: the Galil (used by the 1st Infantry Brigade) and the AK4 (a licensed G3 clone used by the 2nd Infantry Brigade).
The Estonian military hope to receive the first of the new assault rifles by the 24th February, Estonian Independence Day, 2019.