The U.S. Army announced on Thursday that it would adopt a new sidearm manufactured by Sig Sauer.
The Army awarded Sig Sauer the contract for a brand new Modular Handgun System worth up to $580 million over 10 years. That sum will equip the military branch with the P320 beginning this year once operational testing is complete. It will replace the standard issue Beretta M9 that the Army currently employs.
The guns are designed to accommodate a number of different configurations. The gun, which has already been successful in the civilian market, will come in both a full-size and compact variant. It will be able to accept both standard and extended magazines and silencers. The civilian version of the gun is sold in 9mm, 357 Sig, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP, but the Army has not announced what caliber it will use.
The head of the Army's acquisition unit praised the modular P320 as a unique advancement in firearms technology.
"I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System team," Army Acquisition Executive Steffanie Easter said in a statement. "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."
"As MHS moves forward into operational testing, the due diligence taken by all of the stakeholders will ensure a program that remains on-budget and on-schedule," Easter added.
Sig Sauer CEO Ron Cohen said the company is proud to have won the contract and credited his employees with the success.
"We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice," he said. "Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees and their commitment to innovation, quality, and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world."
The Army's announcement comes on the heels of the Marine Corps adopting Magpul's PMag as its standard magazine going forward while the military reequips to face the threats presented around the world.