The U.S. Army announced that German-Swiss gun manufacturer Sig Sauer has been chosen to replace the Beretta M9 handguns in service with the army.
The arms maker will provide P320 handguns, accessories and ammunition under a contract worth up to $580 million, the Army said in a statement.
The awarding of the Modular Handgun System contract comes after years of searching for a replacement to the M9 9-mm handgun, which has been the Army’s go-to sidearm since 1985.
“By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we have optimized private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters,” Army acquisition executive Steffanie Easter said in a statement.
Sig touts the P320 model product as “modular” and “adaptable,” with interchangeable grips, multiple sizes and calibers that can be converted between 9mm, .357SIG and .40SGW. “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 says in promotional materials.
Following operational tests, the Army expects soldiers to begin fielding the new handgun later this year.
The Army first started looking for a new gun almost a decade ago.