The Australian government last week announced a sweeping new series of small arms to equip the Australian Defense Force, with SIG Sauer winning big.

As part of the Australian military's $500 million LAND 159 Lethality System Project, the new outlay includes contracts to supply new sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, personal defense weapons, and fighting knives to the ADF.

"This is a bold step into modern weaponry to quickly improve Australia’s defense preparedness," said Australian Army Major General Andrew Bottrell, head of Land Systems.

Replacing the island continent's long-serving Browning Hi-Power Mk3s-- one of the last Commonwealth countries still using the venerable old 13-shot single-action classic-- will be the SIG Sauer P320 XCarry Pro. It is not the first military contract the XCarry has pulled down, in 2018 Denmark chose the pistol to replace the Swiss-made SIG P210 handguns used in that Scandinavian country for more than 70 years. 


SIG Sauer P320 XCarry Pro
The SIG Sauer P320 XCarry Pro has been selected as the Royal Australian Army's platform for the Sidearm Weapon System, which will replace the venerable Browning Mk3 pistol. It will be complemented with SIG's Romeo Elite reflex sights, and a SIG Foxtrot 2 white light illuminator. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)
Browning Hi-Power used with Australian Army
Australia has been issuing the Browning Hi-Power since after WWII while the British Army in 2013 selected the Glock 17 to replace their aging Hi-Powers. (Photo: Royal Australian Army) 


Chosen for the ADF's new Defense Weapon System, a close combat PDW-style platform, is the SIG Sauer MCX SBR in .300 AAC Blackout. 


The SIG Sauer MCX, in .300 Blackout
The SIG Sauer MCX, in .300 Blackout, has been selected as the platform for the ADF's new Defense Weapon System, which will provide dismounted combatants with a light, modular, and compact weapon system that can be rapidly optimized for specialized roles. The MCX will use SIG's optics and SLX suppressors, giving the Australians an all-up system from one supplier. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)
The Enhanced F88 Austeyr rifle
The MCX will augment the standard rifle used by the Australians, the locally made Enhanced F88 Austeyr rifle (EF88) in 5.56 NATO, a greatly modified version of the Steyr AUG introduced in 2015. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)


In addition to the big SIG win on the rifle and PDW front, with companion accessories, the Australians have elected to add two more systems to their arsenal in smaller numbers and for more select purposes-- the Benelli M3A1 12 gauge shotgun, the Barrett M107A1 .50 caliber BMG anti-material rifle, and the Accuracy International AX-SR precision rifle.


The Benelli M3A1
The Benelli M3A1 has been selected as the platform for the Combat Shotgun System. Operable in semi-automatic or pump-action mode, it is complemented with a red dot sight and white light illuminator. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)
The Accuracy International AX-SR
The Accuracy International AX-SR has been selected as the platform for the Long Range Sniper Capability. It will be introduced into ADF service as a multi-caliber system capable of delivering in .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Norma Magnum, and 7.62mm NATO calibers. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)


In stabby things news, the Australians have also gone full "now that's a knife" and adopted a double-edged fighting knife made by ZU Bladeworx, a domestically based edged weapon maker. 


Australian manufacturer ZU Bladeworx’s Double-Edged Fighting Knife
Australian manufacturer ZU Bladeworx’s Double-Edged Fighting Knife has been selected as the basis of the ADF’s new Hand-to-Hand Fighting System. The black, double-edged fighting knife has a 3.9-inch blade, is machined from a solid billet of A2 steel and features a non-slip handle and retention ring. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)


The Australian and American military have close ties, being allies through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. For the past decade, the country has been hosting a rotational force of U.S. Marines in Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, a mission grown especially important with the increased tension in the region due to an expanding China. It also gives Marines a chance to spend lots of quality time at the country's Jungle Warfare Training Center in Tully, Australia, where just about everything can ruin your day in a serious way. 



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