Sig Sauer Awarded $580 Million Army Contract for New MHS Pistols
by W&G Staff
Sig Sauer, Inc. announced on Jan. 19 that the US Army has selected a variant of its Model P320 as the new Modular Handgun System (MHS) to replace the 9mm Beretta M9 service pistol currently in use since the mid-l 980s. The Army contract is worth $580 million for full sized and compact MHS service pistols based on Sig’s P320 handgun which was introduced in 2014.
The P320 is a polymer strikerfired pistol that has proven itself in both the United States and worldwide markets. The company claims the P320 is the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the operator. All MHS pistols will be produced at Sig Sauer facilities in New Hampshire.
The MHS Program provides for the delivery of both full size and compact P320s, over a period of ten (10) years. All pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.
The Army began working with the small arms industry on the Modular Handgun System in early 2013, but the joint effort has been in the works for more than five years. It could result in the Defense Department buying nearly 500,000 new pistols, Military.com reported.
Military.com said that current plans call for the Army to purchase more than 280,000 handguns, according to Program Executive Office Soldier officials. The Army also plans to buy approximately 7,000 sub-compact versions of the handgun.
The other military services parnc1pating in the program may order an additional 212,000 systems above the Army quantity.
“I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System Team,” said Army Acquisition Executive, Steffanie Easter in the press release. “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we truly have optimized the private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”
Ron Cohen, president and CEO of Sig Sauer, said in a press release, “We are both humbled and proud chat the P320 was selected by the US Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”
Sig Sauer, Inc., which operates from several factories in New Hampshire, is the largest member of a world-wide business group of firearms manufacturers that include Sig Sauer GmbH & Co. KG in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. Sig Sauer has approximately 1,600 employees in the US.
Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America, and other firms, as well as Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the MHS, program.
The 10-year agreement calls for Sig to supply the Army with full size and compact versions of the gun. The pistols can be outfitted with silencers and accommodate standard and extended capacity magazines. Two sources confirmed to Military.com char Sig submitted .40-caliber and 9mm pistols for the Army’s consideration. One source said the Army ultimately selected the 9mm version.