New Contract Continues Established Relationship with Canada
Open-minded for years on the subject of small arms, the Danish Army generates a requirement, evaluates available options and makes a procurement decision – often with unexpected results. For example, in 2014 it announced it would replace its M/62 (MG3) GPMG/MMG and had selected the US Ordnance M60E6 in 7.62x51mm NATO (acquiring over 600), over the Heckler & Koch (HK) MG5 (HK121).
More recently, Denmark generated a requirement for a new Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), to be given the local designation FINSKGV K, driven by the fact that the Army to replace its existing HK417s, which are shot out. Indeed, this requirement is one of three DMR acquisitions decided in NATO countries thus far this year: in January, the French Army announced that its Fusil de Précision Semi-Automatique (FPSA) DMR requirement had been won by the FN SCAR-H PR, with 2,610 rifles to be delivered by 2022.
Then the Canadian Intermediate Sniper Weapon (ISW) DMR requirement was won by Colt Canada’s C20 rifle in 7.62x51mm, with the first contract awarded in February, valued at C$2 million (€1.28 million), to bring the C20 to production status and deliver the first 10 weapons. A second contract, valued at C$6.5 million, was awarded in April, covering provision of 262 rifles, spares and associated equipment, with the weapons to be delivered by March 2021.
On 23 September, the Danish Defence Acquisition Authority announced the selection of the Colt C20 for its DMR requirement, noting that, after trials in autumn 2019 at Borris and Ulfborg, the Canadian weapon emerged as the favoured candidate. C20 deliveries to Denmark will commence in Q1/2021. This continues the relationship between Denmark and Colt Canada; in 1995/96 Denmark purchased the C7 rifle (M/95) and the C8A1 carbine (M/96) in 5.56x45mm NATO to replace the M/75 (G3) 7.62x51mm rifles. Then, in April 2010, Denmark procured the C8IUR (known as the M/10 in Denmark), an improved version of the original C7/C8: 5,000 rifles were acquired, with deliveries taking place in 2010 and 2011.
When it opted for the Colt Canada rifles, Denmark also opted to fit them with the Raytheon ELCAN C79 optical sight. More recently, Denmark has looked to supplement the C79: this has led them back to Raytheon ELCAN and the acquisition of the SPECTER DR system. This is a dual field-of-view combat optical sight that switches instantly from x1 magnification for close quarter battle to x4 magnification for long-range engagements. Denmark will acquire the SPECTER DR in the 1-4x variant for its rifles and the M60E6 and in the 1.5-6x version for the M2HB heavy machine gun, in a contract valued at C$10.1 million, deliveries commencing in 2021.
David Saw reporting from Paris for MON