The Estonian Defense Forces announced that a combined submission by Sako and Steiner has won a toughly fought tender to become the Baltic country's new sniper rifle. 

The new 40 million euro seven-year contract, made public in late April, covers the delivery of the modular Sako TRG M10 sniper rifle in .338 Lapua with a Steiner M5Xi 5-25x56 precision scope using an MSR-2 reticle. Also included are thermal imaging attachments and suppressors for the rifles.

In a statement from Sako, the Finnish-based rifle maker said, "There was fierce competition in the procurement, and a total of five proposals were submitted to the final round, with [Sako] making the best proposal for the required capability."
 

The Sako TRG M10, Steiner M5Xi package adopted by Estonia.
The modular TRG M10 is a bolt-action magazine-fed rifle that is capable of caliber swapping on the fly via barrel/bolt/mag changes, swapping between .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70mm in European parlance), 7.62 NATO, and .300 Win Mag. All the tools needed to swap between calibers are stored in compartments in the bolt knob and forend. (Photo: Sako)
The Sako TRG M10
The Sako TRG M10 is versatile and runs a fully adjustable side-folding stock and detachable double-stack magazines in addition to its multi-caliber capability. It has been adopted by military and LE customers in over 30 countries. (Photo: Beretta Defense Technologies)


A similar package was already chosen by the Finnish military as part of a joint development project, with the Steiner M7Xi 2.9-20x50 and Sako's M23 as the rifle system. Likewise, the Swedish military has entered into a joint agreement to field the same platform. 

Both Sako and Steiner are owned by Beretta.

The delivery of the new Estonian sniper rifles is scheduled for 2024, with 70 fielded at first with the country's 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades.

While the 7,000-strong EDF is small, the country shares a tense land and sea border with neighboring Russia. One of the few NATO members that relies on conscription – for both men and women – the Estonian military can swell to as many as 250,000 members upon mobilization. 

The Baltic country has been occupied by assorted neighbors for much of its existence, but has been independent since 1991 and intends to remain that way.
 

 

Banner image: The Sako TRG M10, Steiner M5Xi package adopted by Estonia. (Photo: Steiner)

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