New Zealand Military Chooses U.S. Firm For New Rifle

New Rifle
Photo Courtesy: UPI

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Aug. 17 (Richard Tomkins) — An American gun manufacturer has been named the preferred tenderer to supply the New Zealand Defense Force with a new combat rifle.

The selection of Illinois-based Lewis Machine & Tool as the preferred tenderer was announced by the New Zealand Ministry of Defense last week following a trials program phase of the contract evaluation process.

The New Zealand Defense Force currently uses Steyr AUG rifles, a 5.56×45mm assault rifle designed in the 1960s. The replacement of about 8,800 rifles is part of a larger firearms replacement program.

In competition against Lewis Machine & Tool were: Beretta New Zealand Limited, Ceska zbrojovka a.s., Colt Canada Corporation, FN Herstal, Steyr Mannlicher GmbH, XTEK Limited and Heckler & Kock GmbH.

Additional details were not disclosed by the Ministry of Defense.


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