Australia to debut prototype infantry rifle, sniper rifle at Special Operations Forces Week

Robert Dougherty – Defence Contact

Team Defence Australia will showcase a new prototype infantry rifle and domestically produced bolt action sniper rifle at the upcoming 2024 Special Operations Forces Week in America.

NSW small arms manufacturer Southern Cross Small Arms (SCSA), a Team Defence Australia member, will present the prototype short stroke gas semi/automatic infantry rifle and bolt action sniper rifle at the 15,000-attendee annual conference in Tampa, Florida, from 6 to 9 May.

The international special operations forces community event, sponsored by the United States Special Operations Command and the Global SOF Foundation, is expected to draw around 15,000 attendees.

SCSA operations manager Daniel Sherwood, speaking with Defence Connect, said domestic manufacturers understand the critical importance of sovereign capability for Australia’s defence needs.

“At Special Operations Forces Week in Tampa, Florida, under Team Defence Australia, we will showcase our defence capabilities, including a prototype short stroke gas semi/automatic infantry rifle featuring patented technology and a patented bolt action sniper rifle,” he said.

“As a company, we actively pursue opportunities in defence sectors, prioritising initiatives that align with our core competencies and values.

“While specific projects remain confidential, we are open to collaborations emphasising innovation, security, and bolstering international stability within the defence sector.

“Each project undergoes stringent evaluation to ensure it upholds ethical standards and responsible business practices.”

The NSW manufacturer has previously shown their pump-action Taipan-X rifle for consideration to the American commercial market at the 46th SHOT Show held in Las Vegas during January this year.

“The Taipan X received remarkable reception at SHOT Show 2024, with individuals from various sectors praising its ergonomic design and features,” according to Sherwood.

“It’s compliance with regulations across all 50 states and its straight pull/pump action combination ensured widespread comfort and accessibility for most users when handling the rifle.

“Sharing similarities with other rifles allows users to leverage their familiarity with the interface and tailor their rifles to meet their specific requirements.

“The construction of the Taipan X differs from commonly available options in America. This was done to ensure compliance in most states and territories nationally.

“Although Americans have access to a wide range of firearm options, they have lacked a 50-state legal straight pull/pump action combination. The Taipan X platform offers extensive accessory compatibility, enabling users to customise it according to their preferences and requirements.”

Sherwood said the high quality and innovative design of domestically manufactured defence and commercial products provides opportunities for Australian companies to export into American and other international markets.

“We see great potential for exporting our products to international markets. We are committed to quality and innovation, which positions us well for global expansion,” he said.

“We continually assess market demands and seek strategic partnerships to enter new territories.

“By maintaining high standards and meeting diverse customer needs, we aim to grow sustainably and strengthen our presence worldwide. We are actively pursuing opportunities to enter the Canadian and European markets this year.”

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