July 16, 2015
ARCTIC BAY, NU – The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, met with Canadian Rangers in Arctic Bay, Nunavut, to provide the local patrol with the first opportunity to review a prototype of the new C-19 rifle that will replace the currently used Lee Enfield rifles. Minister Fantino was greeted with an honour guard upon arrival and took the opportunity to discuss the new rifles with the local Canadian Rangers patrol.
On June 23, 2015, Minister Fantino announced that Colt Canada had been awarded a $1.5 million contract for the management of the design competition for the C-19 rifles. This contract includes the delivery and testing of 125 test and evaluation rifles by the Canadian Rangers that will take place during the military exercise Operation NANOOK. This will give the Rangers the opportunity to test the rifles in the harsh and challenging northern climate and provide feedback. Following testing, and any necessary design amendments, the selected new C-19 rifles will be phased into use by all Canadian Rangers between mid-2016 and late-2019.
The Canadian Rangers comprise a large component of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserve, and they support national security and public safety objectives in northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada. There are approximately 5000 Canadian Rangers living in more than 200 communities across Canada’s North.
The Canadian Rangers play an important role in guarding the safety and security of northern communities and support the preservation of Northern sovereignty. Given their role, they require reliable supplies, equipment and weapons.
The current Lee Enfield rifles are considered excellent and well-adapted tools for Arctic environments. However, as replacement parts may no longer be available beyond 2017, their maintenance is becoming increasingly unfeasible.
Colt Canada has assisted the government to competitively select a rifle design and has led the manufacturing process. The company has been Canada’s Small Arms Strategic Source and Centre of Excellence since 1976, when it was competitively selected under the federal Munitions Supply Program (MSP).
“The preservation of Northern sovereignty is fundamental to national security and our nation’s territorial integrity. Canadian Rangers provide essential support to the Canadian Armed Forces in Canada’s North and our Government is committed to providing Canadian Rangers with the tools they need so that they may continue to effectively serve their country. We thank the Canadian Rangers for their dedication and commitment.”
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Assistant Minister of National Defence
Minister Fantino Announces Contract Award for the Ranger Rifle Replacement and Upgrade Project
Backgrounder – New Rifles for the Canadian Rangers
Canadian Rangers in Arctic Bay
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