Ireland Spends €3m to Modernize Steyr Aug A1


“The Austrian-built Steyr Aug A1, introduced in 1988, is to undergo a revamp over three to four years to bring it into line with assault rifles used by armies like those of Britain and the United States,” reports. “Some €3m [circa $4m] has been allocated this year but the Department of Defence is unable to give a total figure for the programme to modernise 6,000 assault rifles.” Well of course they can’t; Ireland’s central bank is on the hook for €3.1 billion every year until 2023. But at least they are able to say what they’re doing to the A1 . . .

Enhancements to the Irish Army weapon will include a better sighting system called a Combat Optical Weapon Sight (COWS), expected to give greater magnification and some night-time capability; a grenade launcher attachment to allow it to fire 40mm grenades, and a thermal weapons sight allowing the soldier to operate better in the dark.

“The modifications will extend the life of the Steyr out to 2025 and beyond,” a department spokeswoman said.

Two years after the country’s debt will be paid in full. In theory.


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    As long as they don’t change the way the Steyr Aug looks. That would really piss me off.

    BTW, Ireland’s debt payoff is less than Chrysler’s.

  2. avatar OldLawman says:

    I own a (semi-auto) AUG with the factory optic. A better one would be appreciated.
    Don’t need a grenade launcher.

  3. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    I don’t think their COWS (Combat Optical Weapons System) device is going to butter the parsnip for them. Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that Brigadier Sir Declan McDonald, Sr. is also procuring GOATs (Gun Optical Attachment Thingies) and PIGs (Projectile Impact Guides) to make his FARMs (Flexible Armed Reconnaissance Maneuvers) more mission-capable.

    Eee-eye eee-eye oh!

    1. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

      THIS is the reason I come to this website.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        And thanks for coming. And know this: TTAG will continue—has continued—to offer its usual mix of news, reviews and editorials.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          What? No snark?

          I’m outta here.

  4. avatar Mike OFWG says:

    They were not able to afford the conversion to the AUG NUTS (NATO Uniform Targeting System).

  5. avatar TTACer says:

    How could they stick with such an evil looking rifle? Don’t they know the bad guys in “Die Hard” used them?

  6. avatar Matt G. says:

    That branch style donkey riding platform looks pretty badass. Self fueling… emits fewer greenhouse gasses… Self steering on roads… It’s even got an extra jug of anti-freeze to prevent over-heating!

  7. avatar Mike C says:

    I don’t see how adding different optics, thermal imaging or grenade launcher, “modernizes” the rifle. It sounds like the AUG will be essentially unchanged. If their original rifles use the fixed 1.5 factory scope, they will need a different receiver, perhaps the original AUG A1 special receiver, or A3, with rails that everybody loves these days. Are there any performance or durability improvements in internal small parts, quality of trigger pull, barrel durability or accuracy?

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