US Marine Corps to buy 35,000 of US Army's MHS new pistol


The USMC has budgeted the purchase of 35,000 of the U.S. Army’s new Modular Handgun System into its proposed 2019 fiscal year budget. The Army awarded the Swiss manufacturer Sig Sauer a contract worth up to $580 million in January 2017 to supply the 9mm Modular Handgun System as a replacement for the Beretta USA M9 pistol, successor of the Colt .45.


US Marine Corps to buy 35000 of US Armys MHS new pistol
The US Army's new Modular Handgun System (MHS) in both standard (M17) and compact (M18) versions. At the testing stage, both pistols wore the XM17 designation, X usually indicating a prototype (Picture source: Sig Sauer)


The USMC also uses the M9, but, according to Military.com, it is so far unknown whether it will choose the MHS as its new service pistol. The Modular Handgun System will be purchased to replace the legacy M9, M9A1, M45A1, and M007 pistols with a more affordable and efficient pistol for maintenance.

The $28.3 million earmarked for the Family of Infantry Weapons Systems "supports the first year of procurement and fielding of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles (IAR), Modular Handgun Systems (MHS), Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS), M320 Grenade Launchers, and Tow Objective Gunner Protection Kit 2.0 (TOGPK 2.0)," the document states.

The budget document does not provide a total dollar amount for the MHS but lists the unit cost of 35,000 Sig Sauer MHS pistols at $180 each. The Army's 10-year MHS agreement calls for Sig Sauer to supply the Army with full-size M17 and compact M18 versions of its 9mm pistol. The striker-fired pistols can be outfitted with silencers and accommodate standard and extended-capacity magazines. There is also an accessory rail for mounting accessories such as weapon lights.

The U.S. Army intends to purchase 195,000 MHS pistols, mostly in the full-size M17 version. The Marine Corps may be leaning more toward the smaller M18 model, according to a "sources sought" solicitation posted on FedBizOpps.gov on February 13: "The Program Manager Individual Combat and Equipment (PM ICE), Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), is seeking industry input that identifies potential sources for holster sleeve for the Modular Handgun System (MHS) (P320 Sig Sauer handgun) Compact ([M18]) version," the solicitation states.

Companies have a deadline of March 30 to submit concept proposals, the solicitation states. Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta, in the MHS competition, an effort the Army launched in late August 2015. Sig's victory formally ended the Beretta's 30-year hold on the Army's sidearm market.


 

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