Some soldiers in the U.S. Army could soon be issued 9mm submachine guns, if a recent request by the Army’s soldier weapons office is met.
This story from armytimes.com says the guns could be anything from an Uzi to a Heckler & Koch MP5, which has already seen extensive service in the U.S. military.
The story says the Army is asking the gun industry to showcase what kind of full-auto, 9mm, subcompact firearms it has in its stocks through a recent posting on the fedbizopps website, which posts available government contracts.
The Army says the “(Sub Compact Weapon) will be a full/semi-automatic selectable variant” and that it must also have a Picatinny rail, familiar to soldiers and compatible with accessories for the M4 carbine.
Submachine guns, like the M3 Grease Gun and the Thompson, were widely issued in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. More modern submachine guns like the MP5 have been used since by Special Operations Forces like SEAL teams and those who perform close-quarters combat operations and hostage rescue.
These firearms are suited to this purpose because they still offer rapid fire capabilities, but the 9mm round limits the over penetration that can be common with even short 5.56mm AR-platform firearms and they are usually more maneuverable than even the shortest carbines.
“The focus of this weapon is not to outfit every soldier with a subcompact weapon but to focus it on those who might need a personal protection type weapon for certain missions.” You may have read that at SHOT Show 2018, SIG Sauer unveiled a compact firearm built especially for special forces units called the MCX Rattler, but the armytimes.com story says that firearm packs more punch than the Army is looking for.
Gun makers have until May 19 to post their packages on the website.