Elite IDF units to acquire new sniper rifles

The new rifles are intended to improve the capabilities of soldiers in the field and help counter-terror units deal with events involving hostages

Date: 11/09/2012, 9:49 PM     Author: Iddan Sonsino

The Ground Forces Headquarters are planning a significant upgrade for elite units that perform counter-terror operations, in the form of new sniper rifles with improved accuracy. The Ground Forces Technology Division and Weapons Department are currently outlining the operational requirements for the weapon, which is designed to upgrade the capabilities of units that respond to extreme terrorist activities, particularly cases involving hostages.

“Such a rifle is designed to take down a target in a single shot, so that a terrorist cannot, for instance, detonate an explosive or fire off one last burst,” explained the Chief of Light Weaponry in the Technology Division, Maj. Gil Iloz. For this reason, the Ground Forces outlined specific operational requirements, including a bullet deviation half that of the IDF’s current sniper rifles.

Maj. Iloz said that the rifles are intended exclusively for breach and intervention units, with a few dozen of them being acquired for elite units. The Ground Forces will soon begin examining several models that meet the operational requirements. According to Maj. Iloz, the weapons will likely be American-made, but like many other weapons, will most likely undergo many alterations in order to meet the special requirements of the Ground Forces and elite units.

The sniper rifles that will be tested are different from those the regular infantry uses, which have recently been upgraded to the new and deadly Barak sniper rifle. While the primary purpose of sniper rifles in the infantry is to eliminate distant targets, sniper rifles used for counter-terrorism strive for accuracy over distance.