By Brian McCombe
Early in the War on Terror, the Afghan National Army asked coalition forces for NATO weapons to replace the aging Soviet-Era AK-47’s it had been using for years.
As part of the NATO contribution, Canada donated 2,500 surplus C-7 rifles, the main battle rifle of the Canadian Army. Recently the Afghans returned those C-7’s, in favor of the venerable M-16.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, “with a renewed focus on training, NATO has quietly decided that the entire Afghan force should be equipped with American M-16s, of which the C-7 is a variant.”
“The M-16 provided by the United States is very similar to the C-7, however their parts are not interchangeable,” said Maj. Andre Salloum, an Ottawa-based spokesman for Canada's overseas command. “As such, the decision was made to recover the C-7 weapons and return them to Canada for disposal.”
Of note, while the Canadian Army supplied its C-7, “the U.S. decided to kick in as well, sending some 104,000 M-16s between 2007 and 2009.”
Interestingly, the Canadians pegged the value of the donated rifles at just under $3 million. However, it cost another $6 million to deliver the rifles and provide 5.56 ammunition. No word as to what it will cost to ship the C-7’s back to Canada.
SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press 6/15/11
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