Gallery: EDF reservists try out new LMT rifle for first time ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Reservists with the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) have been getting acquainted with the organization's new standard-issue rifle.

The LMT R-20 Rahe ("Hail") automatic rifle is now the default EDF weapon, and around 50 officers and NCOs from the 1st Infantry Brigade's Viru Infantry Battalion have been attending training from Thursday, to familiarize themselves with the weapon as leaders of their units.

"The men and women undergoing firearms training today are the real creme-de-la-creme of our battalion, those who will lead our people in the event of trouble. This means they must be the first to get to know the new weapon particularly well, making the forming up of [reservist] units significantly faster," Lt. Col. Tarvo Luga, Viru Infantry Battalion commander, said, according to an EDF press release.

The training lasts through to Saturday and includes planning exercises for the officers, and combat readiness exercises for NCOs. Reservists from the Combat Engineer Battalion were also due to receive R-20 training.

The U.S.-made Lewis Machine Tools (LMT) R-20 Rahe, also known as the Modular Assault Rifle System (MARS-L) uses the standard 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges. Stocks started to arrive in Estonia in early summer after a lengthy procurement process, and were introduced first to regular troops during the summer, as priority.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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