Weaponry of the New Zealand Army

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A New Zealand Army soldier armed with a Rifle 5.56mm IW Steyr exercising with a NZLAV


Model Image Origin Type Number Notes
Armoured vehicles
NZLAV 20110912 WN S1015650 0030.jpg - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg  Canada Infantry Fighting Vehicle 105 105 NZLAVs[1], Including 95 Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV), 7 Light Obstacle Blade Vehicle (LOB) and 3 Recovery Vehicle (LAV-R).The New Zealand armed forces purchased 105 LAV of which 102 were standard vehicles and 3 were redesigned for recovery.
Non-Armoured vehicles
Pinzgauer High-Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle OH 10-0445-031 - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg  Germany All-wheel drive vehicle 352 The New Zealand Army[2] has purchased 321 Pinzgauer vehicles in 8 variants to fulfill the Light Operational Vehicle (LOV) role.

Support vehicles[edit]

  • U1700 Unimog trucks
  • MAN HX77 Medium and Heavy trucks
  • Supacat HMT (NZSAS)


Model Image Origin Type Number Notes
L118 light gun OH 10-0452-084 - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg  United Kingdom 105 mm Towed field gun 24

Infantry weapons[edit]

Assault rifles and carbines[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
F88 Austeyr  Austria
Bullpup assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Defense.gov photo essay 120731-F-MQ656-228.jpg Used from 1988 until 2017. The first 5,000 weapons delivered were manufactured in Austria by Steyr Daimler Puch. The majority of weapons now in service are the Australian ADI-made Austeyr F88 variant. It is called the IW Steyr (Individual Weapon Steyr) in service of the New Zealand Defence Force.[3] On 12 August 2015 it was announced the Lewis Machine Tools 5.56 mm MARS-L will replace the Steyr AUG after concerns about its performance in Afghanistan.[4]
M4 carbine  United States Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg Used by NZSAS operators and standard issue to New Zealand Police including Special Tactics Group and Armed Offenders Squad units.[5][6][7]
LMT MARS-L  United States Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO L129A1 Sharpshooter rifle MOD 45162216.jpg Adopted in 2015 to replace the Steyr AUG as the standard service rifle of the New Zealand Army. This Weapon comes in 2 different barrel lengths and can take many modular attachments hence the name given by the NZDF to this rifle the Modular Assault Rifle System - Light (this is the same with LMT's own MARS-L, but is referred as the Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System - Light instead for it's US civilian models). Most recent design upgrade with enhanced features based on the AR-15/M4/M-16 family of firearms.

Precision rifles[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare  United Kingdom Bolt action sniper rifle 7.62×51mm Accuracy International AW.png [8]
LMT 308 MWS  United States Anti-materiel rifle 7.62×51mm NATO L129A1 Sharpshooter rifle MOD 45162216.jpg The New Zealand Army adopted the rifle in October 2011. It differs from its UK counterpart in the use of a Leupold adjustable 4.5-14× scope, canted iron sights and a foldable foregrip.
Barrett M107A1  United States Anti-materiel Sniper Rifle .50 BMG Barrett-M82A1-Independence-Day-2017-IZE-048-white.jpg A semi-automatic sniper and anti-materiel rifle chambered in .50 BMG[9]. M107A1 to be introduced in 2018 [10]

Machine guns[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Maximi  Belgium Light machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO FN MINIMI Standard Right.jpg The New Zealand Defence Force uses the Minimi under the designation C9 Minimi. This gun has been used as the Army's Light Support Weapon (LSW) since 1988.[11] The 7.62 Minimi TR was selected in Feb 2012 to replace the C9 LSW Minimi and will be known as the 7.62 LSW Minimi in NZDF service.[12]
FN MAG 58  Belgium General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO Australian Army soldier armed with a FN MAG machine gun in Afghanistan during 2010 - cropped.jpg The New Zealand Defence Force originally purchased the British-made L7A2 version of the MAG in 1976. These are now being replaced by several versions of the Belgian-made MAG-58, which was originally introduced into service as part of the introduction of the NZLAV. The FN-made MAGs are now used in the infantry light machine gun (LMG) role as a flexible mounted machine gun on the LOV and UH-1H and as a heavy sustained fire machine gun.[13]
Browning M2HB-QCB  United States Heavy machine gun .50 BMG IDF-M2-Browning-v01-by-Zachi-Evenor.jpg Heavy machine gun not used at the infantry section level but rather as a heavy support weapon usually mounted on vehicles. It uses the .50 BMG cartridge and has an effective range in excess of 2,000 metres.


Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Glock  Austria Semi-automatic pistol 9mm ARMS & Hunting 2012 exhibition (474-23).jpg Standard Issue Pistol.


Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Benelli M3  Italy Shotgun 12-gauge OH 06-0569 - Flickr - NZ Defence Force (2).jpg NZ Defence Force;[14] initially introduced in Army service in 2006.[15]

Grenade launchers[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
M203 grenade launcher  United States grenade launcher 40×46mm 20130606 OH H1013410 0013.JPG - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg Attaches to the IW MARS-L (RM Equipment M203PI) and M4 (Colt M203-A1) rifles.
Heckler & Koch GMG  Germany Automatic grenade launcher 40×53mm HK GMW.jpg Used by New Zealand Army.

Missile/rocket systems[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Mistral (missile)  France Man-Portable surface-to-air missile High Explosive with high density tungsten balls 54RA-IMG 9142.jpg 12 Launchers
66 mm Short-Range Anti-Armour Weapon (M72 LAW)  United States anti-tank rocket launcher 66mm M72A2 LAW.png A single shot disposable anti-armour weapon
L14A1 Carl Gustav Medium Direct Fire Support Weapon  Sweden recoilless rifle 84mm 20110610 WN S1015650 0024 - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg 42 M3 Carl Gustav, Primarily used in the anti-armour role.
Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)  United States guided anti-armour missile 127mm New Zealand soldiers firing a Javelin anti-tank missile in 2008.jpg 24 Launchers


Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
F2 81mm Mortar  United Kingdom
Mortar 81mm 81mmMORT L16.png 50 L16A2 81 mm mortar

M113 replacement[edit]

New Zealand decided in 2003 to replace its existing fleet of M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, purchased in the 1960s, with the NZLAV, and the M113s were decommissioned by the end of 2004.[16] An agreement made to sell the M113s via an Australian weapons dealer in February 2006 had to be cancelled when the US State Department refused permission for New Zealand to sell the M113s under a contract made when the vehicles were initially purchased.[17]

The replacement of the M113s with the General Motors LAV III (NZLAV) led to a review in 2001 on the purchase decision-making by New Zealand's Auditor-General.[18] The review found short-comings in the defence acquisition process but not the eventual vehicle selected.

In 2010 the government said it would look at the possibility of selling 35 LAVs, around a third of the fleet, as being surplus to requirements.[19]


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference deagel was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "the Volkswagen powered Pinzgauer" (PDF). Marshalls Industrial. MI-UK.com. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "NZ Army – Personal Weapons". army.mil.nz. Archived from the original on 18 December 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Hated army assault rifles unlikely to be sold". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2014. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Unofficial New Zealand Special Air Service page". Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  6. ^ "Split second decisions: police rules of engagement". The Sunday Star-Times. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Replacement due for police rifles". New Zealand Police. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference jones2009 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Davis, Sgt Mick (5 December 2013). "Snipers Hit the Mark: Snipers get fired up at SASR concentration in WA". Army (News). Directorate of Defence News. p. 11. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Force, New Zealand Defence (18 October 2017). "Defence Force buying two new weapons". 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2011-06-24.  New Zealand Army official site
  12. ^ Martin (Ed.), Judith (February 2012). "New Light Support Weapon for NZ Defence" (PDF). NZ Army News (428). p. 5. Retrieved 14 May 2012. The New Zealand Defence Force has selected the FN Herstal 7.62mm Minimi TR as a replacement for the 5.56 mm LSW C9, currently in service. The weapons are being acquired now, with NZ delivery due to start from April this year, and introduction to service and issuing to units planned to occur in last quarter of 2012. The 7.62 LSW Minimi will be issued to certain Army and Air Force Units. This will replace the C9 capability, with priority being given to field force units and regional equipment pools. 
  13. ^ "Machine Guns". Army.mil.nz. 2008-02-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  14. ^ "New Shotguns for Defence" (PDF). NZ Army News. NZ Defence Force. September 2011. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Heed The Need". NZ Army News. NZ Defence Force. 14 November 2006. Archived from the original on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2012. The Army is purchasing a small number of Benelli M3 Tactical shotguns, which are expected to deploy with 1 RNZIR and 2/1 RNZIR soldiers on stability and security-type operations. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ "Govt to sell 35 army LAVs". 24 May 2010.