As it did with the M9 pistol in the 1980s, the U.S. Army has apparently led the way for the entire military when it comes to handgun selection.
According to this story from guns.com, the SIG Sauer P320 pistol platform, which was selected by the Army as the winner of its Modular Handgun System contract last year and has since become the M17/18 pistol, will now be fielded by the Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard.
“All services have been involved in MHS since its inception … and they have all committed to ordering guns,” Taylor said in this story from military.com. “The U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard all have orders that will be fielded starting later this year and early next year.”
“The other military services, who were involved in the entire acquisition process including source selection, can also procure XM17/XM18 Modular Handgun Systems under the Army contract with Sig Sauer,” Debra Dawson, spokeswoman for Program Executive Office-Soldier, said in the story.
The military.com story says the Navy, Air Force, and Coast guard did not respond to requests for comment and the Marine Corps said it would not comment on the MHS at this time.
The agreement calls for SIG to supply the Army with the full-size M17 and the compact M18 9mm pistols for the next 10 years, resulting in the purchase of 195,000 MHS pistols (mostly the M17 version).
The story says Army officials first announced all the services intend to purchase the P320 at the National Defense Industrial Association’s 2017 Armaments Systems Forum last May, but this is the first time SIG has commented on it.
The Army selected the 9mm Beretta 92FS to become the M9 in 1985 to replace the .45 ACP M1911A1. The M9 soon became the standard sidearm for the entire U.S. military.
The story says the Marine Corps fiscal 2019 budget request does not give a total dollar amount for the MHS, but lists the unit cost of 35,000 Sig Sauer MHS pistols at $180 each.
Army officials and SIG reps have declined to talk about the per-unit cost for the handgun, the story says.