Ukraine's Ground Forces (army) will soon be on the receiving end of a massive shipment of sniper rifles from Canada.
PGW Defence Technologies, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been contracted to supply Ukrainian snipers with anti-material rifles in deal valued at over USD $770,000.
The rifle in question is none other than PGW's flagship heavy-caliber rifle, the LRT-3 Sniper Weapon System.
Produced in Canada since 2005, this gun is chambered for the popular .50 BMG round, easily capable of disabling light vehicles and punching though armor with deadly effect.
Coming with an optionally-suppressed 29 inch stainless steel barrel and clocking in at just a shade over 25 lbs unloaded, the LRT-3 looks every bit the part of a heavy-caliber ranged gun.
It boasts a max effective range of around 1800 meters (1.1 miles), comparable to the American Barrett M107 rifle which is also on its way to the Ukrainian army as part of a separate deal.
While PGW has mostly flown under the radar over the past decade, it is no stranger to the arms game.
Enter the SVCh Chukavin, a new and highly modern (compared to the SVD) DMR which Kalashnikov Concern hopes will finally replace the SVD and give Russian infantry units a formidable and versatile ranged weapon amidst a massive effort to modernize the Russian military and fully bring it into the 21st century.
The company maintains contracts with the Canadian Forces to produce the .338 LM C14 Timberwolf rifle, and has supplied other foreign clients such as the Royal Saudi Land Force, and the UAE Armed Forces.
In the wake of extreme tensions and armed conflict with Russia, the Ukrainian government has made overtures towards NATO, signalling their intent to eventually become a member nation.
Buying over $770,000 worth of .50 caliber sniper rifles is yet another step in that direction, which will likely see the Ukrainian military adopt a number of small arms (and ammunition) in common standardized usage with NATO forces, including the 5.56x45 and 7.62x51 mm NATO rounds.
In fact, the arsenals of the former Soviet satellite republic, which are still hugely populated with old-school Warsaw Pact guns like the AKM, the AK-74 and the Makarov PM, have gradually seen an influx of weapons chambered for NATO standard calibers, such as the bullpup Tavor assault rifle, and the Zbroyar Z-10 designated marksman rifle, a locally-produced AR-10 derivative which shoots 7.62 NATO.