In collaboration with the Commonwealth, NIOA as Prime Contractor was initially engaged to:

  • Approach the market to identify and evaluate Sniper and Close Combat weapon systems and provide acquisition and support recommendations to Defence.
  • Produce high confidence cost data to support Government consideration of Tranche 1 acquisitions at Gate 2.

In December 2021, NIOA submitted its Final Evaluation Report, successfully completing Stage 1 of Tranche 1. The end of Stage 1 marked approximately 500 days since the appointment as the Prime Contractor, and extensive collaboration between CASG, Army and NIOA under this supplier engagement model.

During this period, a truly collaborative approach to acquisition was achieved to analyse requirements and approach the market for 11 mission systems across two capability categories (Sniper and Close Combat Systems), comprising over 1610 individual requirements.

Each mission system comprised up to nine sub-systems, including weapons, optics, laser designators, munitions, thermal imagers, and image intensifiers. NIOA’s approach to market for Tranche 1 targeted the sub-system level to generate best-of-breed mission system options for CoA consideration, allowing weapons, ancillary and munitions suppliers to compete freely, unconstrained by commercial relationships between weapons primes and ancillary suppliers.

Market participation and response was excellent. Over 200 Australian and international companies registered their interest in the Tranche 1 approach to market, with 52 companies, including 35 Australian-based companies, invited to tender for major weapon, ancillary or munitions sub-systems. 44 companies were invited to respond for lower cost or complexity ancillaries and accessories under a Request for Proposal activity. Ultimately, nearly 650 individual products were offered for consideration under Tranche 1.

Defence selection and Government approval of Tranche 1 capabilities were informed by an open, transparent, collaborative, and rigorous solicitation and evaluation process. This included over 600 pages of evaluation reporting, 800 weapons and ammunition test serials conducted; more than 31,000 rounds fired in evaluation testing, and over 30 days of preview test and evaluation events at Defence and private facilities.


In August 2022, NIOA was re-appointed as the Prime Contractor for Tranche 1 Stage 2 to acquire, deliver and sustain the selected weapon systems, including supporting:

  • Verification and validation
  • Certification
  • Introduction into Service
  • Fleet management
  • Delivery of upgrades
  • Technology refresh

The Tranche 1 mission systems will deliver a significant capability enhancement to Sniper and Close Combat Capabilities, with the following mission systems approved by Government for acquisition: 

  • Anti-Materiel Sniper Capability
  • Long Range Sniper Capability
  • Sniper Surveillance Capability
  • Sidearm Weapon System
  • Hand-To-Hand Fighting Weapon System
  • Personal Defence Weapon System
  • Combat Shotgun System
  • Assault Breaching System

NIOA will work with local and international suppliers to deliver these systems to the ADF between now and the mid-2020s.

For more information on these mission systems, and the awarded items, please follow the link to the Tranche 1 capability summaries


To request information from NIOA please use the Contact Us tab or email the Lethality System Program at:


Top banner image supplied by Australian Department of Defence