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The Ministry of Defence to modernise the assault rifles of the Defence Forces

29. September 2008 - 11:24
Last week, the Ministry of Defence entered into a contract with a Swiss company Brügger & Thomet AG for the modernisation of the Estonian Defence Forces automatic rifles Galil and AK-4 acquiring contemporary sights, grenade launchers and other additional

Brügger&Thomet AG will produce new metal handguards for the rifles and other jigs for attaching various additional equipment, ensuring their compatibility with the weapons. The new jigs of the reconstructed automatic rifles, supplied with the so-called Picatinny rails, which meet the NATO standards, will allow to fit the Estonian weapons with a range of contemporary additional equipment.

New handguards and red dot sights to be fitted to the handguards, complete with optical devices having triple magnification, supplied with the required bases, will be acquired for the Galil automatic rifles. Also, different handgrips, tactical lamps, tactical harnesses and  new magazines will be bought for the Galil rifles. A small number of 40mm grenade launchers and tactical suppressors will be also obtained for Galil automatic rifles.

Red dot sights and triple magnifiers thereto, complete with the necessary fixing bases, will be acquired for the AK-4 automatic rifles, mostly used by the conscripts and the Defence League members; a smaller number of new handguards, which allow the fitting of tactical lamps, bipods or other equipment, if necessary, will be also acquired. A separate procurement is organised to purchase folding stocks for the AK-4 automatic rifles to make the rifles more compact and more comfortable to carry.

Red dot sights make aiming and shooting rifles faster and easier as they will allow to aim with both eyes open and do not require the usual matching of the sight and foresight. New sights will be supplied with optical devices with triple magnification, used to shoot from bigger distances. The 40mm grenade launchers will contribute to increased firing power of the infantry as these allow to increase the firing distance of grenades to up to 400 m.

According to the Minister of Defence, Mr. Jaak Aaviksoo, the infantry is, inevitably, the most numerous and cogent arm of the Defence Forces. “Therefore it’s quite obvious that the infantry armament required modernisation and contemporary weapons are needed both by the units of operation units and the ‘hotbed’ of these units – the conscripts and Defence League members,” said the Minister of Defence Mr. Aaviksoo.

Similar extra sights and equipment of new type are being widely used by armed forces of developed countries; also, the Estonian Defence Forces are using some of the described equipment in international operations.

The procurement need and technical specification were prepared in close co-operation of the Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence, based on the real-life experiences of the Defence Forces and the international operations. According to the plans, the procurements for the modernisation of automatic rifles will be continued and the new sights and other contemporary equipment will be soon used not only by the operation units and Scoutsbattalion but also the conscripts and Defence League members.

In total, the procurement will allow to update over two thousand and five hundred automatic rifles; the exact quantities and prices of equipment procured will be confidential, as prescribed by the contract of procurement. The procurement should be completed by the end of this year.


For additional information please contact:
Peeter Kuimet
Press Representative of the Ministry of Defence
Tel. 717 0116 / 56 56 41 88
peeter.kuimet[at]kmin[dot]ee