Sako Ltd has signed a collaboration agreement with The National Defence Training Association of Finland (MPK), at the Sako factory in Riihimäki, Finland. Sako will supply semi-automatic firearms to the MPK for training purposes during 2024. The rifles will be chambered in .223 Wylde so that both 5.56×45 and .223 Remington ammunition can be used. The total value of the procurement is 1.6 million Euros which also includes accessories and spare components.
Sako @ TFB:
Below: As you can notice, this Sako semi-automatic rifle is painted in black as opposed to the ones to be used by the Finnish and Swedish Armies which are “Snigel Design Grey“.
The National Defence Training Association of Finland is a voluntary organization providing safety and security training to Finnish residents over the age of 15 and supplemental military training for all Finnish citizens over the age of 18. The objectives of MPK’s training programs are to maintain the skills and knowledge acquired during conscription, to prepare personnel for more demanding duties, to familiarize reservists with changes in national defense structures and activities, and training units for their wartime composition. MPK’s military courses are open not only to military reservists but also to non-reservist men and women. These individuals may perform non-combat duties.
According to Sako’s website, they made 151000 rifles in 2022, and 16 million cartridges with 430 employees. Over 96% of their products are exported, but it seems the batch of rifles mentioned in this article will stay to protect the Motherland.
Here is Sako’s Press Release in full:
The National Defence Training Association of Finland (MPK) and Sako Ltd signed a collaboration agreement on 11 April 2023 at the Sako factory in Riihimäki, Finland.
Sako Ltd will deliver semi-automatic single-shot firearms to the National Defence Training Association of Finland (MPK) for training purposes. The firearms specified in the deal will be delivered in 2024. The total value of the procurement is 1,6 million euros and further to the firearms includes, e.g. weapons equipment and spare components.
The rifles have a caliber of 5.56×45 / 223Rem. The firearms are compatible with rounds of either caliber.
”Thanks to MPK for the trust we have received. We are glad to support Finnish national defence training on our part and believe that this procurement will play a significant role in Finland’s national defence capability and training. The Finnish Defence Forces and MPK will have the same basic structure of products, which will certainly offer synergy benefits to both parties. It is also great that national defence training can rely on a domestic product, as this will also improve the security of supply”, states Raimo Karjalainen, Sako Group CEO and Board Member.
The rifles will primarily be used for the training provided by the National Defence Training Association of Finland that is designed to contribute to military readiness and is based on the firearm training programme of the Finnish Defence Forces. The training is attended by voluntary reserve members and other participants engaging in voluntary national defence training.
”We are pleased that it was possible to select from several high-quality products as part of our tendering process. Based on usage and suitability tests, this procurement will supply us with a product that matches our requirements extremely well. In the future, we will be even better positioned to respond to the high demand for training in the use of firearms across the entire nation”, says Antti Lehtisalo, MPK Executive Director.
The rifles to be delivered are based on the same AR construction as the new firearms supplied to the Finnish and Swedish Defence Forces, which Sako Ltd published a news report about in March 2023.
There’s no answer yet to the question everyone is asking – will Sako Ltd make a civilian version of this rifle? My take, if anyone is interested, is that I think it will happen, but the factory should be quite busy with the current contracts before that could possibly happen.
Sako also has a new webpage. Check it out here: https://www.sako.global/
Read the full article here