ADF brings more 7.62mm into service
EDITOR’s NOTE: I have edited my headline and photo caption to correct my assumption that the SIG Sauer MCX would replace Steyr, after reading comments below. Thank you to all those who know better than me, but, in my defence, I think the wording of this press release is ambiguous.
Regardless – 7.62mm (in the form of .300 Blackout) is coming to the ADF – apparently as a replacement for the 9mm MP5.
The Australian government has signed a multi-million dollar agreement with a Queensland company to start acquiring and supplying the next generation of small arms for the Australian Defence Force.
CAPTION: SIG Sauer’s MCX in .300 Blackout calibre [7.62×35mm] [a sub-sonic round] has been selected as the ADF’s new ‘personal-defence weapon for dismounted combatants’. Photo Sergeant Tristan Kennedy.
The contract is part of a $500-million-plus commitment to provide Australia’s soldiers, sailors and aviators with enhanced-lethality weapon systems.
Head Land Systems Major General Andrew Bottrell said the Lethality System Project (LAND 159) Tranche 1 contract had been awarded to Queensland-based company NIOA.
Between now and the mid-2020s, NIOA will use a range of sub-contractors to supply new sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, personal defence weapons, fighting knives and an assault-breaching system to the ADF, with many of the new weapons to be on display at the Land Forces expo in Brisbane from 4 to 6 October 2022.
Major General Bottrell said the contract would include munitions and ancillary equipment including optical and laser systems, torches and suppressors for the new generation of small arms.
“Under the contract, NIOA will be the prime contractor, working with local and international suppliers and weapon manufacturers on the acquisition, integration, delivery and ongoing support of the new weapon systems from 2023,” he said.
“This is a bold step into modern weaponry to quickly improve Australia’s defence preparedness.
“Early engagement with industry has proven very successful.
“NIOA has demonstrated a long‑term commitment, private investment, and a focus on growing sovereign industrial capability to support Australia’s war fighters.
“The collaboration between Defence and industry means we will acquire the best-available weapon systems for our troops.”
NIOA weapons and munitions specialists worked alongside the Commonwealth project team to evaluate 649 products across weapons, ancillaries, and munitions for 11 mission systems before making its final recommendations to Defence in a 600-page report.
The company said their transparent, collaborative and rigorous process included 800 weapons and ammunition test serials with more than 31,000 rounds fired during evaluations off site and at its Brisbane indoor range where it invested more than $1m in new testing equipment specifically for the LAND 159 project.
CEO Robert Nioa said the company’s best-of-breed approach maximised industry participation to ensure Australia’s servicemen and women had the best combinations of the best equipment to complete their missions safely.
“The battlefield capability increase that these next-generation weapons provide is a game-changer for our warfighters,” Mr Nioa said.
“NIOA is proud of its role in this project.
“Protecting our national security means teamwork at every level – government, Defence and industry.
“As an Australian-owned company we feel strongly about assisting the Commonwealth government to meet the sovereign capability priorities of today and tomorrow.”
Defence said it would seek to maximise Australian-industry involvement throughout the life of the Lethality System Project, and ensure continuous engagement with industry partners.
New weapons systems to be acquired include:
- SIG Sauer MCX, in .300 Blackout calibre – selected as the platform for the personal-defence weapon system, to provide dismounted combatants with a light, modular, and compact weapon system that can be rapidly optimised for specialised roles.
- SIG Sauer P320 XCarry Pro – selected as the platform for the sidearm weapon system – will be complemented with reflex sights and a white-light illuminator.
- Benelli M3A1 – selected as the platform for the combat-shotgun system – is operable in semi-automatic or pump-action mode – it is complemented with a red-dot sight and white-light illuminator.
- Accuracy International AX-SR – selected as the platform for the long-range sniper capability – will be introduced into ADF service as a multi-calibre system capable of delivering in .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Norma Magnum and 7.62mm NATO calibres.
- Safran JIM compact multispectral surveillance device and Steiner laser range-finding binoculars – selected to provide ADF snipers with a day and night sniper surveillance capability.
- Barrett M107A1 – selected as the platform for the anti-material sniper capability. The M107A1 is a lighter, modernised and suppressed derivative of the in-service weapon, and is complemented with precision optics, night vision and range-finding devices.
What do you think? – comment below…
52 thoughts on “ADF brings more 7.62mm into service”
Anything for the infantry in land 159 or is this all about the special force’s chads?
very clear and good article easy to understand. Thank you
The ADF have a 7.62mm Nato rifle for specialist use, the HK417. So I don’t see what the fuss is about.
Sounds like a purchase for sas& commandos 800 units purchased,about the same of above units.If we change caliber it will be 6.5 or whatever USA have no a special forces purchase
I love how people are so quick to run down the old Browning HP 9mm. In the real world they are being copied by the big companies and sold for big bucks because of their accuracy and reliability. We should be looking into double stack versions with magazine capacities closer to 15 and stop looking for shiny plastic models that won’t last!
I think the 7.62x51mm (and by extension 6.8x51mm) fans here are forgetting why the change to 5.56x45mm was made.
Why was the change made?
Biggest mistake Australia made was getting rid of the L1A1 SLR !
Stupid to go with the Sig p320. Nothing but issues with them including foreign rounds when in the holster (no hands near the trigger) and when dropped. Should have gone with Glock for a few reasons. Interoperability with AFP and ABF along with NZ UK and other armed forces who we work along side with. Clearly didn’t follow the KISS method.
Totally agree mate. All the pre Steyr ADF members would agree with you totally. The 7.62mm had punch and lethality, that is why we purchased them. I may also get flack about this statement, but the Steyr 5.56mm had the tendency to drift and fluctuate with accuracy in differential temp gradients. I was never happy with it. And the drill was atrocious. Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. Here’s to the mighty NATO 7.62mm.
Because ‘you know if you’re hit by a 7.62’ going to be a lot of happy crusty’s around.
I’d doubt anything in .300 Blackout would replace the EF88 for general issue in the ADF.
I’d say as our largest coalition partner is going down the SIG XM-5 in 6.8×51 (.277) path, that would good look in to replace the EF88.
Great to see the Browning HP finally being replaced.
Actually if thev ADF does go with Sig Saur, then we will most likely get 6.8mm version IOT be compatible with US, and or NATO.
Probably the NGSW-R.
The 7.62mm (Blackout 300) will be for specialist missions / forces.
I seriously doubt the ADF will adopt the 7.62mm version as a general combat weapon for all.
The MCX is going to be used by SOCOMD and possibly aviation units & some others as a PDW, it won’t replace the EF88 in the Army. It’s for “Specialized missions”, not general replacement. The P320 will replace the old Browning Hi Power as a general PDW.
No it’s replacing everything
No it’s not. The EF is a seperate project. If you have information to the country please share
They are really going to watch for 5.56x45mm & 7.62x35mm cross contamination issues…
Wow, what a very ugly weapon indeed. At least the steyr was easy on the eye, but the drill with this weapon was a little off. Unlike how the NZDF used it. Yes, I agree with everyone else 7.62 NATO was and is far superior than the 5.56. And also agree, keep ALL the steyrs in an armoury for the future. I really can’t see this new weapon having any sort of real future with the ADF. And again we see wasted dollars going down the gurgler fo no good reason at all.
These exact comments were said about the F88 when they replaced the SLR. Looks like a decent gat to me. Bigger hit better ergonomics.
Couldn’t be worse choice if they tried! 300 (Whisper) Blackout is a specialised cartridge that has nothing in common with 7.62×51 NATO other than bullet diameter. Developed back in the early 90’s for very specialised purposes, the supersonic loads perform like 7.62×39, superseded across the world other than poor countries and old Soviet AK47 era rifles and the subsonic 230 to 250 grain loads run supressed arc like a rainbow.
When every country is looking to fight peer level adversaries and sourcing to defeat modern armour, we are looking at handicapping our troops even more.
Did the military not learn anything from Afghanistan, energy on target at range is better than kicking doors in.
If this is true, it just makes everyone wonder how off the mark the Australian Army procurement teams can be.
Christ they will want the next round of digs to use eco friendly nerf guns!
This really seems like they are going to be issuing a SBR in .300 blk to a few select units. I don’t see them replacing the EF88 with it as its not a 7.62 NATO equivalent and has far lower range than a 5.56.
And what becomes of the Lithgow arms manufacturing facility. F88 production ceasing will be devastating for the town
When I was in the army reserve back in the seventies
I used the self loading rifle especially using firing practice on target .
The SLR is a awesome weapon .
The Steyr was essentially a political decision from a non-aligned country/maker. The 5.56mm is much less effective than 7.62x51mm NATO for individual soldiers as we found out to our detriment in decades of conflicts in S.E. Asia. .30 cal (7.62mm) rules!
The link below is a rather good YouTube video on the adoption of the F88
Into the ADF. It also has links to the documentation for the trial released
by defence on the small arms replacement project.
Sovereign is the big catch phrase here.
[is Lithgow Irish mist?]
Lithgow is the original Sovereign Arsenal
and needs to remain a viable weapons-producing entity.
Apart from that
if truly a ‘new’ ‘Sovereign’ capability.
Rick Fishbourne ex RAN
01 Oct 2022
P.s. Mothball the Styers don’t onsell them and store the 5.56 ammo.
we made need them at short notice.
The only real ‘sovereign’ element in this announcement is the fighting knife, which was listed first in the dot points by Defence – rearranged by me.
Aside from that, NIOA is a genuine Queensland company – who have previously announced they would build a factory to manufacture weapons here (presumably under licence).
So long as they are up to standard. Oz has a poor history with some areas of manufacture (see Holden and Ford pre Mitsubishi arrival). We can do it if we care. There’s a lot at stake for the end user here.
7.62mm Nato and .300 Blackout are very different carriages. This could have been communicated better. SIG just updated the MCX, from the MCX Virtus to the MCX Spear LT variant. I hope this is the version the ADF gets.
7.62 x 51 is the only round needed. oh thats right these get too heavy for chicks , navy and raaf to carry .
Nice of you to remain anonymous. Army is the new Navy
Did I read correctly that the Sig will fire a sub-sonic 7.62 round?
Why? Would that not lack the ability to go the distance or penetrate and drop certain types of targets? Rifles are not just for people targets. How many kj does it impart to the target at max effective range? (Should be a min of 300 kj to incapacitate a man-target).
Hope the withdrawn EF88s are kept in reserve for when it hits the fan.
Good to se that the ADF is back to a better heavier hitting round capacity. I am some concerned that the testing was done in an indoor range and not properly field tested. We were left with an inferior weapon in Vietnam when the M16 was introduced with most riflemen preferring to use the harder hitting SLR and its better reliability under all adverse conditions. Its very daunting when you hit your target 3 or 4 times in the chest and he fails to go down when 1 7.62 did the job
True. I knew a digger who put at least four into a chest and the other bloke kept running forward. From memory, the hostile stopped firing.
So much for all the money poured into the EF88
Will the new caliber make standardising with NATO and the US harder? Is the weapon meant for non-infantry types while the EF88 stays in service?
LAND FORCES Expo
Brisbane Convention Centre.
Registrations close Monday.
I don’t think this is the widespread replacement for the EF88. That decision is part of tranch 2 which is years away. This is purely a PDW for probably a relatively small part of the ADF.
Thanks mate. I’m very nervous about my headline and claim, so I’d be very pleased if others could clarify this.
That said, while it doesn’t specifically say ‘all dismounted combatants’, the ambiguity was enough for me 😉
762 and 300 black out are hardly comparable…
Yeah I was told the same thing, the ef88 will be maybe replaced later on. This is only for who knows? atm.
They are not replacing the Steyr with the MCX, and definitely not in 300 Blackout. 300 Blackout is usually used as a subsonic cartridge selected for good ballistics while suppressed, and not really comparable to the 7.62×39 used by AK’s. As mentioned in another comment, this is purely PDW (think MP5 replacement, likely SF only) and the Steyr will be reselected or replaced in Tranche 2 under the Close Combatant Assault Rifle section in 2024/25.
Agree with everything, but .300 Blackout and 7.62 x 39 are very ballistically similar with the right load.
Ballistically with the right load, yes. Sort of around the same size yes. But 7.62×39 generally isn’t subsonic, different case size, different prodjy size (.308 for the .300BO and .310/.311 for the 7.62×39), and .300BO is generally much more accurate (at the short ranges the subsonic .300 shines at). Not saying there aren’t exceptions, as you can get (or hand load) fairly accurate 7.62, but just saying that anyone getting excited that the ADF is widely going back to 7.62 may be disappointed – especially if they think Steyrs are getting replaced with 7.62×51 like the L1A1. Guess we just have to wait a few years to find out. Who knows, they may reselect the SLR 😂
You are correct the MCX is a PDW. The Steyr replacement is a seperate project.
I agree. The logistics of support soldiers using two different cartridges will be interesting.
As long as the calibre is compatible with partner defence forces.
Same rifle same calibre selected for US Special Forces in May this year.
Also, the round fits in standard NATO 5.56 magazines.
I’m in Brisbane on the dates of the Land Forces Expo. What’s the address location?
I was part of the Sniper weapon systems selection process with Maj Pete Stammers in the late nineties.
Sean Ocker OConnor
LAND FORCES Expo
Brisbane Convention Centre.
Registrations close Monday.
The Mpx is replacing the MP5 not the EF 88. Thats why its equiped with 300 blackout.