New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark has presented Queensland-based munitions and small arms specialist NIOA an award of excellence for its role in supporting the delivery of the New Zealand Defence Force’s sniper rifle replacement project.
The 2018 Minister of Defence Awards of Excellence to Industry were presented by Minister Mark on 1 November. The awards were established by the New Zealand Defence Industry Advisory Council (NZDIAC) in 1998 to highlight and reward the contribution industry made to Defence.
NIOA was a finalist in the category for provision of a product to Defence less than $15 million that exemplifies the Defence Industry Strategy Principles underpinned by the development of a gain-gain relationship based on alignment, long-term focus, commitment and trust.
NIOA general manager of government business Patrick Whitty received the award on behalf of NIOA at the annual the NZ Defence Industry Association Forum.
"It’s a great honour to be recognised for the hard work and dedication that both the NZDF and NIOA have put into this project. We’re very proud to be delivering this advanced new capability to NZ Defence," Whitty said.
In 2016, NIOA took part in an open tender to replace NZDF’s existing sniper rifle with a new .338 Lapua Magnum weapon system and after a very extensive evaluation period, Barrett’s MRAD (Multi Role Adaptive Design) rifle was selected.
After demonstrating the capability of the .50 BMG Barrett M107A1, it was also subsequently chosen for the anti-materiel rifle role. NIOA worked very closely with several international companies to provide a complete systems solution for both rifles, which included the rifle system itself, optics, ballistic computers and other associated ancillary equipment.
Whitty said, "I’d like to thank the team at the NZ Defence Capability Branch for their professionalism throughout the process. They are always a pleasure to work with and greatly assisted us in making sure the weapon system and ancillary equipment were fit for purpose."
This successful bid further strengthened NIOA’s existing relationship with the NZDF as the supply and support provider for their new personal protection weapon, the Glock pistol, which is now currently in service.
Establishe in 1973, NIOA is a 100 per cent Australian prime contractor specialising in the provision and support of weapon systems and integrated soldier systems, focusing on close combat, special operations, direct fire, in-direct fire, target recognition/identification, suppression and neutralisation, training and force protection.
The company supplies and supports a wide array of small arms, medium calibre and large calibre munitions, special function grenades and pyrotechnics, and leading-edge pistol systems, small arms, sighting systems and carriage solutions.