The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has signed a letter of intent with Sako Ltd. to develop a new family of Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifles / Designated Marksman’s Rifles. Sako are well-known for their high-quality Sniper Rifles available in various calibers (Sako TRG M10, TRG 22/42 A1, TRG 22 and 42), but they are all bolt-action rifles.
There is of course a lot of competence within the Beretta Defence group, as well as experience from within Sako from the production of the military RK 62 and RK 95 Assault Rifles. It will be very interesting to follow what the Sako semi-auto will look like, and if they will use Benelli’s ARGO system, make a clone or develop something new.
Below you can read the official communication:
Letter of intent concerning research and development of Finnish rifles
The Defence Forces Logistics Command and Sako Ltd have signed a letter of intent regarding research and development of a family of rifles and preparation of the procurement of a rifle system.
The rifle system is intended to consist of two different system configurations including a sniper rifle for sniper use and a semi-automatic rifle for the squad’s designated marksman.
The letter of intent is related to the long-term development of the sniper capability in the Defence Forces.
The cooperation has the objective of developing a new sniper rifle and designated marksman rifle conforming to the Defence Forces’ capability requirements, and preparing the procurement of these weapons. These weapon configurations will combine improved capability, security of supply and cost effectiveness.
It is possible to have other countries join the development work involving the family of rifles.
The letter of intent was signed at the Defence Forces Logistics Command’s Headquarters in Tampere 25.5.2020.
You can find the original Press Release here.
Below is a picture of the Sako Rk 95, from Europe Best Sniper Team Competition 2018.
You can compare this development with Sweden that took back the Ak4 (Heckler & Koch G3) and upgraded it with newly developed Spuhr parts and an old riflescope from Hensoldt. Sweden is also evaluating multi-caliber sniper rifles (bolt-action) at the moment: New Multi-Caliber Sniper Weapon System for Swedish Armed Forces.
The French Army recently decided to buy SCAR-H PRs: French Army Selects SCAR-H PR, S&B Scope and Night/Thermal Vision for Sniper Rifle. The German Army is using Heckler & Koch HK417s.
The Canadian Army just decided to buy Colt Canada’s C20, and the Danish Army is probably going a similar route.
It would seem that the idea of the semi-automatic precision rifle is far from dead.
Please let us know in the comments below what do you think the Sako semi-auto rifles should look like.