The latest step in the ongoing re-armament of the New Zealand Defence Force has been announced: The SIG Sauer P226 pistols that have served New Zealand servicemen and women since 1992 are to be replaced with new Glock 17 Gen 4 handguns, distributed via an Australian company. The announcement was posted to the New Zealand Defence Force’s website, and is embedded below:
New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) military personnel are to be issued with new generation Glock 17 pistols to replace the Sig Sauer pistols currently in use.
The new pistols will be introduced into service across the Navy, Army, and Air Force in the second half of 2016.
Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Dean Paul of the Land Capability Delivery Branch said the Sig Sauer P226 pistols were introduced into service in 1992 and were due to be replaced.
“Ensuring we remain a force equipped to succeed means supplying our people with fit-for-purpose personal protection weapons. This is part of our 2020 strategy for enhanced combat capability and we are pleased to be rolling out the new pistols next year,’’ LTCOL Paul said.
Australian company NIOA Nominees Pty Ltd has been awarded the $1.8 million contract to supply the NZDF with about 1,900 of the new pistols. The contract includes the pistols, ancillaries, and through-life support.
The NZDF has been re-equipping its personnel with new weapons since the beginning of the decade. This began with the selection of a 7.62x51mm designated marksman rifle, the LMT MWS with a 20″ barrel (a rifle TFB friend Trevor Weston calls “a bloody good piece of kit”), and continued with the adoption of the 7.62mm Minimi to replace the 5.56mm Minimis then in service. Finally, recently the New Zealand Defence Force announced their adoption of the LMT CQB16 to replace their aging Steyr AUG rifles, marking one of the first (though probably not the last) times a military force has replaced a bullpup assault rifle with one in the conventional magazine forward layout.
NIOA Nominees Pty. Ltd. is an Australian sporting goods/firearms distributor, and will be handling the sale of the Glock pistols to the New Zealand Defence Force. They will be selling the pistols, and whatever ancillaries are included in the contract, for a little under NZ$950 per unit ($617.50 USD). Given this price, I don’t think the New Zealand taxpayer has very much to worry about with regards to his his or her money is being spent.