The Estonian army began rearmament with new American-made automatic rifles. According to the portal thefirearmblog.com, LMT Defense has confirmed the start of deliveries to Estonia of new assault rifles and grenade launchers.
As the company explained, the Estonian Ministry of National Defense in 2019 chose automatic rifles of the LMT MARS (Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System) family - MLCPS chambered for NATO 5,56 x 45 mm and CQBMWS chambered for NATO 7,62 x as its new assault rifles 51 mm. In addition, M203 grenade launchers were purchased.
The fact that Estonia received the first batch of new automatic rifles produced by the American company Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) was reported in July this year. The first batch consisted of 1500 rifles, which received the official Estonian designation R20 Rahe, of which 1250 R20 Rahe automatic rifles in the standard version, 250 TA-R20 rifles in the "sniper" version and 70 40 mm M203 grenade launchers.
The first presentation of the new weapons took place on July 22 at the military training ground in Männiku.
The R20 Rahe standard rifle is an LMT MLCPS rifle chambered for NATO 5,56 x 45mm, and the TA-R20 is an LMT CQBMWS rifle chambered for NATO 7,62 x 51mm. The first to receive the new rifles will be the Scoutspataljon of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Army, stationed in Tapa. Then the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades will be fully equipped with rifles. It is planned to equip the Kaistaleit (people's militia), police, border guards and units of the Estonian Ministry of Justice with new weapons.
According to the contract signed in 2019, the Estonian army will receive 16 automatic rifles in 5,56 and 7,62 mm calibers. The cost of the contract is $ 75 million.
Automatic rifles MLCPS (chambered for NATO 5,56 x 45 mm) and CQBMWS (chambered for NATO 7,62 x 51 mm) are variations of the widely used Stoner AR family, but with a patented upper receiver made of a single monolithic structure aluminum, which provides its increased rigidity.