The 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army has been chosen as the first unit to receive the new Modular Handgun System. The announcement was made even though the Government Accountability Office has yet to rule on a protest from Glock Inc.
The protest was made in February about the Army’s selection of a replacement for the current M9 9mm pistol. They chose the Sig Sauer P320 to replace it and a decision is expected in June.
Sig Sauer was awarded the new contract worth $580 million in January after beating out Glock Inc., Beretta USA and FN America. They beat out the rest for the Modular Handgun System, also known as the MHS program.
The agreement covers 10 years and will give the Army a full-sized XM17 and compact XM18 versions of the current 9mm pistol. The pistols can also include suppressors and have the ability to accommodate both an extended-capacity and standard magazine.
The new XM17 MHS competition was launched in August 2015 to replace the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol. This new contract with Sig Sauer ended the 30-year run for Beretta as the supplier of the Army’s sidearm. Not much has been said by Army officials on the matter.
The main goal of the new modular system is to put more emphasis on the shooter’s hand size and give shooters a weapon more compatible with them. The different grip sizes and various attachments make the system a huge step up.
The XM17 base configuration will come with Tritium sights, three magazines and a holster. Army officials have yet to talk about the type of ammunition the new sidearm will use.
The new policy from the Defense Department allows special-purpose ammunition and allowed the Army to require the gun makers to submit proposals for ammunitions with their pistols for competition.
The Army plans to buy 195,000 MHS pistols and the other branches of the military will buy another 226,000 between the three.