Defence Minister Anita Anand announced today that 229 new cutting edge multi-calibre bolt-action sniper rifles are on their way to the Canadian Army. Final deliveries are expected to be completed by the end of this year.This successful procurement milestone represents the final major piece of Canada’s Sniper Systems project. The contract, valued at $2.6 million was awarded on 11 August 2021 to Stoeger Canada.
The SAKO TRG M10 bolt-action sniper rifle, being dubbed the C21 in Canada, is a multiple-calibre, manually operated and magazine-fed system. The magazine will hold between 8 and 10 rounds depending on calibre and include both regular and armour-piercing rounds. The C21 has a proven effective range of 1200 metres, and is "very capable" beyond that distance.
According to a company press release, "its fully adjustable stock and interchangeable barrel/bolt system, among other features, make it a multi-functional system in a single weapon, suitable for any operational situation. The rifle includes ambidextrous controls and tactile indicators for different calibres. Furthermore, its action frame and barrels are cold hammer-forged from special alloyed steel for extra rigidity. The rifle underwent extensive and arduous testing by the DND during trial phases, passing all tests and showcasing the performance that has earned SAKO its worldwide reputation."
The Canadian contract covers 229 C21 sniper rifles and associated accessories such as suppressors and cleaning/maintenance kits. These new weapons are part of a wider project to equip sniper teams with new clothing, equipment, and weapons to improve our soldiers’ ability to operate effectively in various environments and under a range of conditions.
Sniper rifles provide accurate direct fire on targets beyond the capacities of most small arms such as the C7 rifle. The new C21 sniper rifle will replace the current C14 and C3A1 sniper rifles and provide Canadian Army snipers with a next generation weapon with a proven effective range of 1200 metres. Deliveries of the C21 are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
The overarching Sniper System project has delivered items such as in-line night vision devices, load carriage system, personal protective equipment, environmental clothing, C20 semi-automatic sniper rifles, ammunition and ballistic calculators used to help plot a firing trajectory to target.
According to a DND press release, the C21 will provide the following improvements over the Canadian Army's current C14 and C3A1:
- multi-calibre (7.62x51mm and .338 Lapua Magnum),
- lighter, with a 60% longer barrel life,
- adjustable, with a folding stock to make it easier to transport and to accommodate various user types,
- adaptable for in-line night vision devices to increase operational effectiveness,
- fully interchangeable with a design that allows whole fleet management and faster/easier repairs with simple part replacement.
Providing the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with the modern equipment and specialized tools they need is a priority for the Government of Canada and a principle tenet of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.