Sig Sauer Inc. announced Friday that it has delivered 100,000 Modular Handgun Systems to the U.S. military as it approaches the three-year anniversary of the U.S. Army contract award.
The Army selected Sig to make the full-size M17 and compact M18 9mm MHS variants in January 2017, awarding a contract worth $580 million over 10 years. Since then, all branches of the U.S. military have agreed to replace the existing M9 Beretta pistol with the MHS -- a venture that will require more than 420,000 MHSs.
Both versions of the MHS are striker-fired and based on Sig's P320 handgun. They feature coyote-tan PVD-coated stainless steel slides, as well as black manual safety levers and other controls -- a change from the original all-coyote versions. The MHS is equipped with SIGLITE front night sights and comes with 17-round and 21-round magazines.
Sig officials say that the company is operating ahead of schedule and exceeding performance standards and requirements for the program.
"In the month of October, Sig Sauer exceeded our manufacturing requirements by thirty percent and delivered a record-setting 12,100 handguns to the U.S. Military to achieve this historic milestone for Sig Sauer and the MHS program," Ron Cohen, president and CEO of Sig Sauer Inc., said in a Nov. 22 news release. "With the strict accuracy and acceptance specifications that the M17 and M18 are continuously exceeding, it's clear that the success of this program can be directly attributed to the reliability, durability, and accuracy of the handgun, which has resulted in the high demand for both the M17 and M18 from every branch of the U.S. Military."
The Army plans to buy 195,000 MHS pistols, the majority of which will be M17s. The Air Force is scheduled to purchase 130,000, and the Navy plans on buying 60,000 -- both choosing the compact M18 version. The Marine Corps plans to buy 35,000 MHS pistols.
It has been the norm in the past for the services to use the same sidearm. The Army selected the M9 in 1985 to replace the .45 caliber 1911A1, and the double-action Beretta soon became the sidearm for the entire U.S. military.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.