New Zealand buying U.S. sniper rifles

By Richard Tomkins  |  Oct. 19, 2017 at 2:42 PM
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Oct. 19 (UPI) -- New Zealand's Defense Force announced it is buying weapons from U.S. rifle manufacturer Barrett.

The rifles that will be bought are the Barrett M107A1 anti-materiel weapon and the Barrett Multi-Role Adaptive Design sniper rifle, the defense force said Thursday.

The 40 M107A1 weapons and 42 MRAD rifles carry a combined cost of more than $2.85 million and will be carried by infantry personnel and commandos, the defense force said.

The 0.50-caliber semi-automatic M107A1 anti-materiel rifle gives soldiers the ability to identify and engage vehicle or installation targets with precision from a distance as long as about 1,600 yards.

The Barrett MRAD .338 Lapua Magnum has been proven effective to 1,500 yards and will replace the current AW 7.62mm sniper rifle, which has an effective range of about 874 yards.

The agreements will also cover day optics, suppressors and ballistic computer auxiliary equipment to complement the weapon systems.

Both weapons will be introduced into service starting in the middle of 2018.

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