The US Army’s Modular Handgun System is slated to move forward, downselecting in August of this year from a reported 12 submitted proposals to only three, in preparation for the final competition. The program solicitation was released in September with a deadline of the 1st of February, but the deadline for submissions was extended to February 12th. Now, it seems the Army is in review of the proposals and is poised to choose the final three entrants, one of which will become the next US military standard issue pistol. IHS Jane’s reports:
The US Department of Defense (DoD) will downselect a total of three preferred bidders in the third quarter of 2016 as its Modular Handgun System (MHS) programme continues on course despite recent calls to replace the effort with a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution.
Entrants are understood to include Beretta’s APX, Ceská zbrojovka’s CZ P-09, FN Herstal’s Five-Seven Mk 2, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GDOTS) and Smith & Wesson’s M&P polymer handgun; the Glock 17 and 22; and Sig Sauer’s P320. However, sources informed IHS Jane’s that the DoD had yet to make a final decision regarding calibre of the MHS, although 9×19 mm and .40 calibre appear to be favourites at the moment.
The DoD has now begun an evaluation programme of the 12 weapon systems. A downselection to three is expected to be made in August, leading the way into a nine-month production verification test (PVT) programme. Following the successful conclusion of the PVT, a preferred bidder will be selected ahead of low-rate initial production and first deliveries to US armed forces.
Earlier this year, US Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley questioned the need for the program, suggesting instead that the Army procure Glock 19 handguns off the back of a SOCOM contract for those handguns. We discussed this suggestion, and explored a few other possibilities for procuring new handguns in previous posts.
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