News Release Article from  National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Minister Sajjan announces contract award for new Ranger rifles at Operation NANOOK

September 2, 2016 – Whitehorse, YK – Department of National Defence

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment and training they need to perform their duties. Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today announced a contract for 6,820 new rifles to support the Canadian Rangers during northern operations.

These modern rifles, produced by Colt Canada, will help ensure that the Canadian Rangers can safely and effectively carry out surveillance and sovereignty patrols in Canada’s North. The rifles will be phased into the Rangers’ use starting early in 2017, until they are fully equipped by 2019. The contract is worth $32.8 million.

Minister Sajjan was in Haines Junction, Yukon, to observe military and security exercises taking place in conjunction with Operation NANOOK, Canada’s annual northern sovereignty operation.  The Canadian Armed Forces play a significant role in defending Canada in the North, and ensuring they are properly equipped to operate in the region is an important part of the role of the Government of Canada.

Quick Facts

  • The new rifles produced by Colt Canada, which will replace the Lee Enfield rifle, are more robust and can perform reliably in temperatures well below freezing, which is essential to the Canadian Rangers’ work in the Arctic.
  • User testing by the Canadian Rangers over the past year demonstrated the need for only minor modifications to the new design, based on the Sako Tikka compact tactical rifle.
  • The production of the rifles, which will take place over the next three years, will support the current 90 jobs at Colt Canada, and contribute to the creation of approximately 30 additional jobs in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.


“The Government of Canada remains committed to Canada’s North, its people, and our country’s sovereignty in this vast region. Today’s announcement on new Ranger rifles demonstrates our support for the women and men of the Canadian Rangers as they carry out their important northern operations and patrols.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“The Government of Canada is committed to equipping our uniformed women and men with the tools they need to serve their country. This contract will support existing jobs and will create new employment opportunities for middle-class Canadians. This procurement is an example of how we are meeting the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces while ensuring taxpayers are getting the best value for their money.”

Leona Alleslev, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement


Member of the Canadian Rangers explains the differences between the current Lee Enfield model (top) and the new rifle (bottom) to Minister Sajjan during his visit to Operation NANOOK.

Related Product

Backgrounder: Government of Canada Enhances Equipment for North Operations

Associated Link

Contract Award for the Ranger Rifle Replacement and Upgrade Project


Renee Filiatrault
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces Military

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