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New Zealand Selects LMT to Replace Steyr AUG

New Zealand has been debating the idea of replacing their main service rifle (sound familiar?). Last week, due to months of extensive testing, they took the next step and officially choose Illinois-based LMT (Lewis, Machine, and Tool) as the preferred tenderer.

Companies that LMT beat out during the New Zealand Defense Force individual rifle testing were:
Beretta
CZ
Colt Canada (formerly Diemaco)
FNH
Hk
Sig Sauer
…and the current holders, Steyr Mannlicher.
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While currently we don't have information on exact models tested or the requirements, it's easy to make some educated guesses based on the companies shown.

The actual tests and results have yet to be disclosed. New Zealand has been issuing and fielding limited numbers of LMT's .308 MWS (Modular Weapon System) as a designated marksman rifle (DMR) since 2012, so there is already a relationship and logistical framework in place. While details about the chosen LMT are still in question, rumor has that it will be one of their newer MRP configurations.

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Example of LMT

The selection of a new individual weapon is part of New Zealand's “Weapon Replacement and Upgrade Programme” (ISWRUP). You can read more about it here. Future projects for the ISWRUP include:

  • Sniper Rifle replacement and the Anti Material Rifle
  • Short Range Anti Armour Weapon 84 mm upgrade
  • Personal Protection Weapon (pistol) replacement project
  • Sustained Fire Machine Gun tripod and target acquisition replacement
  • Grenade Launcher (M203) replacement.

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So, we can look forward to more changes in the future, aside from just their national flag. As more details come out, we'll keep you updated. In the meantime, you can visit LMT's website right here.


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