The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is procuring two long range rifles from US manufacturer Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. The island armed forces will be purchasing the .50 BMG caliber M107A1 anti materiel rifle as well as the .338 Lapua Magnum caliber Multi Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) sniper rifle. The rifle buy is for forty M107A1 anti material rifles, forty two MRAD sniper rifles, and optics, suppressors, accessories, packaging, and all other ancillary equipment as part of a “total system” purchase. The weapons are a part of the New Zealand Defence Force’s modernization effort, which has included new handguns, infantry rifles, machine guns, and other weapons. According to NZDF material released along with the announcement, the MRAD sniper rifles will be replacing the NZDF’s legacy Accuracy International Arctic Warfare rifles in 7.62mm NATO caliber, bringing a considerable increase in range and capability to New Zealand snipers. As well, M107A1 .50 caliber anti materiel rifles will give the NZDF the ability to attack vehicles and installations out to 1,500m. Both weapons are reportedly slated for use not only by the New Zealand Army, but the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS), as well. Procurement of the weapons under a sole source contract followed six weeks of testing of several competing rifles in Waiouru, where more than 10,000 rounds were expended in evaluation.
The NZDF released two videos on the new acquisitions, embedded below:
Thanks to WhaleOil for the tip!