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New Zealand Defence Force Receives Government Approval To Replace AUG

Steyr-AUG

New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Colemon announced that the New Zealand Defence Force has received government approval to replace the Steyr AUG currently in service with up to 8800 new rifles.

A competitive tender will be conducted to purchase an off-the-shelf replacement. The NZDM is currently seeking a rifle capable of being optimized for a variety of situations, one that offers consistency in fire from close quarters to out to 500m in daylight conditions, half that in low light. According to a 2011 Ministry of Defence report, operations in Afghanistan showed that the AUG was ineffective at ranges greater than 200m, and it was difficult to accurately identify adversaries.

The NZDF has already introduced new light machine guns, combat shotguns, and marksman rifles into service. Future projects would consider replacements for the current pistols, sniper rifles, and grenade launchers.

Hat tip: www.janes.com/article/39552/new-zealand-govt-approves-steyr-replacement-programme

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35 Responses to “New Zealand Defence Force Receives Government Approval To Replace AUG”

  1. Philip says:

    Look at that, a country doing what it needs to update and modernize its force; no pointless bureaucratic delays, widely-publicized tests whose results just get thrown out in favor of an existing solution, and program cancellations.

    The New Zealanders have recently updated their camo, body armor, ruck system, and now they’re talking weapons, all with (apparently) little to no politics involved.

    Must be nice…

    • 32sbct says:

      Not hard to do when you do when your force is so small. A lot harder to do for a total army (active, guard, reserve) of close to a million service members and a congress that wants the spending spread out over multiple districts.

    • LC says:

      There was a immense quantity of politics when it came to the NZLAV acquisition, which essentially caused the demise of the NZ air force.

    • CAP says:

      They only need 8800 rifles. THAT’S IT. The US Army’s last order for M4A1s was for 120,000 units….

    • Philip says:

      ALCON

      I am aware that size of force and budgets play a big role in modernization… My comment was merely frustration talking; seeing everyone else upgrade and move forward while my own country’s military continually decides that “inaction is still an action” is disheartening.

  2. bulldog76 says:

    their want to press 500m that sound s like somebody is gonna got back to battle rifles ………

    • Crayon eating booger eater says:

      Not necessarily. This is within the operating limits of the M16/M4 series rifles…just ask the recruits at Edson Range or soldiers at any SDM class.

      The AUG platform leaves plenty of room for improvement, without touching the cartridge: Standard optic, trigger, mag release, fixed length of pull, to name a few areas that annoy me.

      I’m curious: Does anyone know the rifle qual standards in the NZDF? I ask because the AUS qual merely consists of a zero at 300m, no actual live fire performance standard. Perhaps NZDF is the same? Perhaps they need better training for better hits with the current cartridge?

      • steave says:

        No the Aug is an average rifle at best , about time it was replaced, hopfully they dont go down the Australian path with that abomination they are buiding with the new styer project.

        • AbnMedOps says:

          “That’s the Steyr AUG. Steyr AUG’s a bad MF-er. It’s made in Austria!”

      • Damocles says:

        NZ Army has recently introduced a new weapons qualification for the Steyr involving shooting from the prone, standing and kneeling at 300, 200 and 100m, with a final section involving reaction shooting while advancing on a target from 100 to 50m. Serials involve static and moving targets at all ranges.

      • Mac says:

        The AWQ has recently been updated. It involves engaging static and moving targets from 500-50m. It requires running between the firing points as once the match commences it doesn’t stop. It was temporarily amended to 300m max engagement to allow for the 1.5x optic.

        Qualification is based on cumulative score, the old one was based on a minimum pass mark for each target.

      • Rivers says:

        Alot of people seem to be bagging the styer, weres myself and alot of other people have never had issues with it. The model shown in the pic is the standard issue rifle but the operational rifles have Acog(4x) and Jdot sights and Peq2 or Peq15 s etc.
        The styer shoots the same Ranges as the m4 and uses similar ammo type. The only real drawback is its weight compared with other rifles.
        The quote can not shoot out too, or identify targets past 200m effectively tells me its the man behind the rifles tits ! and its the ammo that doesn’t have stopping power only way to fix that would be by going up a larger caliber ie 7.62 or the sort.
        NZArmy do an annual AWQ where your shooting 100m 200m and 300m at static targets , snap and moving targets of various sizes and this is all done using the standard 1.5x scope. So in my opinion any solider who can not effectively engaged a moving or static target out to 300m is the problem not the rifle.
        Now that said doesn’t mean im not looking forward to a new rifle cos everyone loves getting new toys :-)

  3. kristopher walters says:

    I assume they are going to stick with 5.56 but, I wonder if they are gong to go with an actual rifle length barrel or use a carbine like everyone else seems to be going to.

  4. Mike Nomad says:

    Sounds like they want an AR-10 w/ variable power glass.

    • They’ve already adopted the Lewis Machine & Tool AR-10 as their DMR.

      • MIke Nomad says:

        I didn’t know that. Thanks for the word. So, they already have a solution in place. And they could easily tweak barrel length, ammo, and furniture as needed.

  5. tazman66gt says:

    As other countries arm up our country shrinks.

  6. AbnMedOps says:

    8800 units? That’s a managable number… If this can be set up as a phased buy with some very flexible terms, it could be a perfect opportunity for some upstart rifle manufacturer(s) to run a bunch of rifles through the hands of a bunch of troops in a variety of conditions, and find/fix a lot of bugs. This type of intense product evolution and demonstration of soldier-proof service-fitness would do wonders for promising ideas. (Robinson XCR-M. are you listening?)

  7. Explosive Hazard says:

    If they are looking for OTS replacements then the IMI TAR-21 is probably their best bet if they want to stay with a bullpup rifle. And it would make some sense to do so too because their soldiers are used to bullpup manipulation. SBR compactness with a rifle length barrel that can deliver good 500m performance and even better in CQC.

    • Kris says:

      That’s what I was thinking. With a 18″ barrel the Tavor is still shorter then an M4 with better performance from 5.56. Not to mention it’s a great rifle.

  8. Marcos says:

    The AUG already has a greater effective range than an M4 type weapon due to its 20″ barrel. If they want better target ID at 500m, why not just slap on an ACOG or 1-4x ELCAN Spectre?

    • Crayon eating booger eater says:

      Or, does it?

      The question is, what load are they using? If the same as the Aussies, it has a lower propellant charge than US M855, negating benefits of longer barrel length.

      This is the reason our “Straya!” buddies are not authorized to shoot our standard issue load, unless in exceptional situations.

      I agree, however, re: optic improvement.

      • Marcos says:

        The Aussies recently started using the F2 round which was made to match the pressures of the M855. If they’re looking better long range performance, they should look into a Mk262 type loading

    • CAP says:

      There’s more to effective range than barrel length. An M4 with a good tigger, an adjustable length of pull, and a better ability to mount optics is easier to shoot at 500m than an AUG with a bad trigger and a long, non-adjustable length of pull.

  9. Brian says:

    Not effective at 200 meters, huh? One of the first times I picked up an A1 AUG, I ringed a 12 inch gong at 250 yards with factory zero from first shot to last. It does sound like an issue with ammo, but it’s probably also because the rifles & barrels have been worn out.

  10. LC says:

    Probably theyll replace it with the m4, which is already in service with the NZSAS.

    That would be the smart thing to do.

  11. CAP says:

    Guys seriously, if you think that they’re going to replace the AUG with anything other than an M4 varient (like what the NZSAS have been using for years), then you need to come back to reality. From they’re own press release,

    “Modern rifles can be adapted to individual needs, maximising the effectiveness of the weapon. They can be fitted with a range of advanced day and night sights, and other specialised equipment. They can also be adjusted to suit different body sizes, and for the wearing of personal kit.”

    So there you go. It won’t be a bullpup, and it’s got to be decked out with pic rails with an adjusable stock. It will be an M4 varient.

    • Marcos says:

      and yet the Omanis with their AUGs (using the old-school SUSAT sight) just came in tops overall in the recent British Army shooting competition against lots of countries with their tricked out M4/M16 variants

    • Marcos says:

      whoops, meant to reply to your post about effective range above