Finland and Sweden have recently announced an agreement to purchase a common family of firearms from Sako Ltd, a Finnish company with a long tradition of producing high-quality weapons.
The agreement, which was signed on March 27, 2023, at the Sako factory in Riihimäki, Finland, will enable both countries to modernize their infantry and sniper rifles with NATO-standard ammunition and increase interoperability between their armed forces.
The joint range of firearms will include:
- Assault rifles in 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm calibers, based on the AR-15/M16 and AR-10 platforms, but with improved reliability and accuracy thanks to Sako’s proprietary gas piston system.
- Bolt-action sniper rifles that can be quickly configured to fire either 7.62x51mm or .338 Lapua Magnum rounds, offering versatility and precision for different scenarios and ranges.
- Personal protective weapons (PPWs) in 5.56x45mm caliber, designed for close-quarters combat and concealed carry by special forces and VIP protection teams.
The agreement will initially run for 10 years, followed by three seven-year option periods until 31 December 2053. In the first phase, Finland will acquire assault rifles and PPWs for field tests, while Sweden will make its first serial procurement of both types of weapons. The total value of the agreement is estimated at over €150 million.
The joint procurement of firearms is part of a broader cooperation between Finland and Sweden in the field of defense and security, which has intensified in recent years due to the growing threat from Russia in the Baltic region. Both countries are also considering joining NATO in the near future, which would further enhance their integration with other allies. By acquiring a common range of firearms from Sako Ltd, Finland and Sweden are demonstrating their commitment to strengthening their defense capabilities and their mutual trust.
Sako Ltd is a subsidiary of Beretta Holding Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. Founded in 1921, Sako Ltd has a reputation for excellence and innovation in the production of hunting, sport shooting and military weapons. Sako Ltd is also a major supplier of ammunition to the Finnish Defence Forces and other customers worldwide.