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The U.S. Army recently awarded Sig Sauer a contract worth $580 million to make the next service pistol based on the company’s P320 handgun. The new model will replace the army’s Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol.
Sig Sauer beat Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current service pistol.
The 10-year contract calls for the company to supply the Army with a regular and a compact version of the gun. The firearms will be manufactured at the company’s facilities in New Hampshire.
In their statements, Army and Sig Sauer officials didn’t specify what caliber the new Sig Sauer pistol will be. Sig touts the P320 model product as “modular” and “adaptable,” with interchangeable grips, multiple sizes and calibers that can be converted between 9mm, and others. “From calibers to pistol size, to the grip fit best suited for the shooter, the P320 is the most adaptable pistol available today,” the company claims.
Army officials informed Beretta USA and FN America that they had been dropped from the competition in the recent down-select decision, according to a service source who is not authorized to speak to the press. Yet confusion still occurred as reporters informed company officials of the Army’s announcement.
The decision formally ends the Beretta’s 30-year hold on the Army’s sidearm market. Beretta has fought hard to remain to remain the Army’s pistol maker. In December 2014, Beretta USA submitted its modernized M9A3 as a possible alternative to the Army’s Modular Handgun System program.
The Army rejected the development. The company, didn’t back down and developed a new pistol and entered it into the competition.
Currently, the Army plans to purchase more than 280,000 handguns and approximately 7,000 sub-compact versions of the handgun.
The other military services participating in the program may order an additional 212,000 systems above the Army quantity.