Milipol Asia 2017Asian snipers and counterterrorism forces are arming themselves differently to meet modern threats and environments, several armament vendors highlighted at the Milipol Asia-Pacific 2017 exhibition in Singapore.
Scott Fraser, SIG Sauer's regional director of global defence sales, noted, 'What we learned from Afghanistan is that bolt-action rifles give greater accuracy at medium to long ranges, but carbine sniper rifles are more effective in urbanised settings where engagements are usually around 100m.'
The SIG Sauer 716G2 (Gen 2) designated marksman rifle is a result of combining this requirement with greater reliability, accuracy and magazine capacity.
Fraser also said 7.62mm NATO rounds are preferred in jungle engagements as they cut through vegetation with greater power than the 5.56mm.
Indonesian special forces currently use the rifle, and potential customers include South Korea and other unspecified Asian forces.
Sven F.S De Souter, managing director for Glock Asia-Pacific, pointed out another development. 'A trend here is that more counterterrorism and special forces are now transitioning their revolvers to pistols.'
He added that SWAT units are increasingly adopting the competition-grade Glock 34 due to its larger magazine capacity and ease of aiming.
'We focus a lot on the Philippines and Thailand in this part of the world, and India and Pakistan are important as well,' he said. The only thing stopping Glock now is getting export licences from either Austria or the US to certain markets like Myanmar and China.
Souter also hinted that Glock would unveil pistols with new features and innovations next year.
Another trend, as more individuals succumb to radicalisation, is that counterterrorism forces are arming themselves with less-than-lethal solutions like the Taser X2 alongside standard firearms to deal with threats like knife-wielding individuals.
Nathan Sawtell, Taser's Asia-Pacific managing director, said many agencies at Milipol had expressed interest in finding solutions for apprehending suspects without injuring or killing them.