You’re no doubt aware that the U.S. Army declared the Sig Sauer P320, adopted as the M17, as the winner of its XM17 Modular Handgun System competition to replace the Beretta M9. Now we have word that soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., will be the lucky first group to test out the new service pistol.
According to Army Times, the news came from Lt. Col. Steven Power — product manager of Soldier Weapons for Program Executive Office Soldier — who told those in attendance at the National Defense Industrial Association’s armament symposium yesterday morning that the new congressional budget gave the Army a clearer picture of when it’ll field the Sig Sauer P320.
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“The latest budget was our first real knowledge of procurement dollars, which will adjust fielding schedules,” Power said. “However, we will definitely field Fort Campbell this year.”
Powers said other Fort Campbell units would also receive the Sig Sauer P320, but no specific details were given. As Army Times points out, every soldier that carries a sidearm will be equipped with the P320 as units are available, “depending on funding priorities.”
Sig Sauer won the Army’s XM17 MHS competition back in January, beating out the likes of Glock, Smith & Wesson, FN and Beretta for the $580 million contract, which is for the P320 itself, as well as the accompanying accessories and ammo.
The P320 is a polymer, striker-fired gun. Released in 2014, it’s billed by Sig as the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the end user. It’s chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The Army is going with the 9mm version and will field full-size and compact models. In addition, all pistols will be configurable to receive suppressors and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.
In February, Glock filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over Sig Sauer winning the XM17 MHS competition contract. But due to when it was filed, Sig was allowed to continue production in its New Hampshire facilities on the new P320.
“Glock received a debriefing concerning why they did not receive an award on Feb. 17,” the Army said in a statement. “Glock’s protest to the GAO is timely but was not filed within five days of receiving their debriefing, meaning that under the Competition in Contracting Act, Sig Sauer can continue contract performance during the pendency of the protest.”
The Government Accountability Office will issue their decision on Glock’s protest on June 5.