SAPS looking at Armalite carbines

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National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola’s SA Police Service (SAPS) is investigating acquisition of new firearms, specifically American manufactured Armalite carbines.

Given it’s early days, as per an Armscor announcement in the form of a Request for Information (RfI) which closes on 31 March, there is no guarantee police armouries will ever have Armalites on inventory. The tender announcement, which does not carry a reference number, is termed an RfI for “Armalite M15A4 Assualt (sic) Rifle” with interested parties asked to make email contact for further information.

Asked for more information, Armscor responded via its Senior Manager: Corporate Communication, Liziwe Nkonyana. She told defenceWeb the tender announcement was “part of market research on behalf of SAPS”.

Armalite describes the M15A4 as a streamlined and affordable platform suited for sport or defence.

“It could be a specific application for military/security work, hence the ‘M’ prefix,” a South African in the know about firearms said on condition of anonymity. He also asked how, if the tender progressed to acquisition at some stage, a fully American company would comply with Armscor’s broad-based black economic empowerment (BBEEE) regulations.

The only Armalite agent in South Africa is Hlasela Group, which offers Armalite weapons for military, law enforcement and civilian applications.

Hlasela Group told defenceWeb it has done tests with the SAPS in the past, along with other competitors.