TRANCHE 1 CAPABILITIES

CLOSE COMBAT CAPABILITIES

HAND-TO-HAND FIGHTING WEAPONS

The Hand-to-Hand Fighting Weapon system is being acquired for the Army Combatives Program (ACP), to prepare soldiers for hand-to-hand combat, and support the development of a combat mindset. The Hand-to-Hand Fighting Weapon system comprises:

  • Fighting knife
  • Training blade
  • Sheathes
  • Shock knife
  • Protective suit 

Australian manufacturer ZU Bladeworx’s Double-Edged Fighting Knife has been selected by Defence. The black, double-edged fighting knife has a 100mm blade, is machined from a solid billet of A2 steel and features a non-slip handle and retention ring. The grip will accommodate users wearing gloves with small or larger sized hands and the shape of the control point reduces slippage on the Soldier Combat Ensemble while conducting ACP drills. The training blade is identical in shape and balance, however, is easily distinguishable by the red coating, with a flat edge and rounded tip to ensure soldier safety. A protective suit and electrified training shock knife round out the training system to ensure realistic hand-to-hand fighting training can be conducted authentically and safely. Based in Queensland, ZU Bladeworx is a 100% Australian owned manufacturer of specialist tools and edged weapons for use by Australian Police and the ADF. This Australian fighting knife design may provide export opportunities to overseas militaries and law enforcement agencies.

ASSAULT BREACHING SYSTEM

The Assault Breaching System will enhance the capability of dismounted combatants to enter structures rapidly and safely during combat operations. The system comprises mechanical breaching, munitions and explosive breaching tools for different operational scenarios. Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense’s Rapid Wall Breaching Kit (RWBK) was selected by Defence as the prefabricated explosive Assault Breaching System, which will be subject to further consideration by Defence for introduction into service to ensure long term suitability and operational effectiveness. The RWBK is a single soldier-portable, self-contained breaching system, comprised of four modular components. It is designed to breach standard to single layer to triple brick walls, concrete slab walls and other structures through controlled blast effects. An inert training system will also be considered for introduction into service. EBAD is an American manufacturer of hardware and energetic systems for use in spacecraft, military, and industrial applications. The SAN Hydraulic Breaching System with portable hydraulic cutting and expanding tools, is also being considered for introduction into service.

COMBAT SHOTGUN SYSTEM

The Combat Shotgun System will provide dismounted combatants with urban breaching, lethal and less than lethal capabilities across a range of operational scenarios in all light conditions. The selected Combat Shotgun System is based on the Benelli M3A1, a dual action 12-gauge shotgun that can be used with semi-auto or pump to cycle the action. The M3A1 will be fitted with the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro red dot reflex sight and Inforce White Light Illuminator for improved performance across the full range of operational scenarios in all light conditions. The Combat Shotgun System will be capable of being employed with a range of ammunition natures, including traditional shot, breaching, frangible and less-than-lethal natures, which continue to be considered for introduction into service. Ancillaries including cleaning kits, cases, specialist tooling, and carriage systems will be acquired to complete the System. The Benelli M3A1 is supplied by Beretta Australia, a leading supplier of firearms and related products, servicing Australian military and law enforcement agencies.

SIDEARM WEAPON SYSTEM

The Sidearm Weapon System will replace the long-serving Browning Mk3 pistol, providing improved modularity, target acquisition, ergonomics, and upgradability to meet a broad range of current and emerging operational requirements across the ADF. The selected Sidearm Weapon System will comprise the Sig Sauer P320 X Carry Pro chambered in 9x19mm NATO. The P320 X Carry Pro is a medium frame 9mm pistol with improved ergonomics and reduced weight. The grip module is available in multiple sizes to accommodate different hand sizes. It will be fitted with iron sights, reflex (red dot) sight, and a white light illuminator attached via the picatinny rail on the underside of the pistol frame. The Sidearm Weapon System will deliver a range of effects through in-service and new operational and training munitions. The majority of the Sidearm Weapon System will be supplied by Aquaterro, the Australian representative for Sig Sauer, and established supplier to Australian Defence and Law Enforcement agencies.

PERSONAL DEFENCE WEAPON SYSTEM

The Personal Defence Weapon System will provide specialist dismounted combatants with a light, modular, and compact weapon system. The Personal Defence Weapon System will be based on the Sig Sauer MCX weapon platform, chambered in 300 Blackout (BLK), with multiple barrel lengths and a folding stock which can reduce the overall length whilst still operational. The System will be fitted with a Sig Sauer suppressor, Romeo 4T reflex sight and Juliet 4 magnifying sight. The Personal Defence Weapon System will also include back-up iron sights, and enhanced training system. Picatinny rails allow for flexible and tailored user configurations. A range of munitions will be acquired to allow optimisation of the system for specific operational and training scenarios. Ancillaries including cleaning kits, cases, specialist tooling, and carriage systems will be acquired to complete the System. Most of the system will be supplied by Aquaterro, the Australian representative for Sig Sauer, and established supplier to Australian Defence and Law Enforcement agencies.

SNIPER CAPABILITY SYSTEMS

LONG RANGE SNIPER CAPABILITY

The Long Range Sniper Capability, will provide precision fire against enemy combatants at greater ranges in day and night conditions. The system will include precision optics, night vision, and ranger-finding devices. User aids such as weather sensors and portable ballistic computers will complete the Long Range Sniper Capability to deliver increased hit probability at greater ranges by day and night. The system will be suppressed to reduce the firing signature.  

The Long Range Sniper Capability will be based on the Accuracy International AX-SR rifle, a combat proven, modular, multi-calibre rifle system, that can be readily optimised by individual snipers for maximum performance. It will be introduced into the ADF as a multi-calibre system with the in-service .338 Lapua Magnum (.338LM), the .300 Norma Magnum (.300NM) and 7.62mm NATO calibres. The Long Range Sniper Capability will deliver a range of target effects through in-service and new munitions. These calibres will provide interoperability with allied forces while supporting the full range of contemporary sniper operations.

The AX-SR will be fitted with TBAC SR suppressors, Nightforce precision day optics, the Leonardo DRS Improved Day/Night Observation Device (INOD), in-service AN/PVS26 image intensifier, and the L3 Harris Small Precision Enhanced Aiming Rangefinder (SPEAR) Target Engagement and Sighting System (TESS). Other sniper aids have been selected from Kestrel, Garmin and Labradar.  

Ancillaries including cleaning kits, tripods, bipods, cases, specialist tooling, and carriage systems will be acquired to complete the System.

ANTI-MATERIEL SNIPER CAPABILITY

The Anti-Materiel Sniper Capability will include precision optics, night vision, and range-finding devices. User aids such as weather sensors and portable ballistic computers will complete the Anti-Materiel Sniper Capability to deliver increased hit probability at greater ranges by day and night. The system is suppressed to reduce the firing signature, reducing the likelihood of ADF snipers being detected.   

The selected system is based on the M107A1 rifle, manufactured by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Incorporated, a world leader in large-calibre, long-range, precision rifle design. The M107A1 is a lighter, modern and suppressed derivative of the in-service M82, and is compatible with the full suite of in-service rounds used with the M82 (including armour piercing and multi-purpose) to meet the operational needs of the mission system.

The M107A1 will be fitted with suppressor, Nightforce precision day optics, the Leonardo DRS Improved Day/Night Observation Device (INOD), in-service image intensifier, and the L3Harris Small Precision Enhanced Aiming Rangefinder (SPEAR) Target Engagement and Sighting System (TESS). Other sniper aids have been selected from Kestrel, Garmin and Labradar.

Ancillaries including cleaning kits, tripods, bipods, cases, specialist tooling, and carriage systems will be acquired to complete the System.

SNIPER SURVEILLANCE CAPABILITY

The Sniper Surveillance Capability provides ADF snipers with a true 24-hour day and night capability enabling effective surveillance of the operating environment, and employment of sniper weapon systems out to maximum ranges regardless of conditions. The Safran JIM Compact multispectral surveillance device has been selected alongside in-service ancillaries including spotting scopes and binoculars to improve sniper system surveillance, accuracy, and performance in a range of environments. The JIM Compact is a lightweight, multi-functional, binocular system able to operate in day, low light and dark conditions. It boasts a cooled thermal detector, laser rangefinder and stabilised advanced image processing, and can output data and video to other sniper devices.

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Images supplied by Australian Department of Defence