It was already official, but now it’s official official: the Sig Sauer P320 will be the new sidearm of the United States Army. Three months after filing a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the Army’s decision to award the 10-year, $580 million XM17 contract to Sig, Glock has received word that its challenge has been denied.
As Task & Purpose notes, the reason for Glock’s protest wasn’t known when the company initially filed in February. But in a statement provided to Army Times, Ralph White, the GAO’s managing associate general counsel for procurement law, said Glock objected to the Army’s “interpretation of the solicitation regarding the minimum number of contract awards required by the” RFP.
White said the GAO denied the challenge, finding that “the RFP allowed the Army to make only one award, although up to three awards were permitted by the RFP’s terms,” according to Kit Up.
According to Army Times, Glock’s protest also centered around the fact that the company believed the Army hadn’t properly evaluated its proposal. But White says the GAO “denied the challenge to the Army’s evaluation of Glock’s proposal on the basis that any errors did not prejudice Glock in the competition.”
Glock, Sig Sauer and the Army all have 10 days to request “reconsideration” from the GAO on the decision, Army Times says.
Despite Glock’s challenge, the Army and Sig Sauer have continued to work on the Modular Handgun System contract uninterrupted because Glock filed its protest seven days after being debriefed on the reasons for not winning the award. Had they filed within five days, work on the project would have halted pending the GAO’s decision.
“Glock received a debriefing concerning why they did not receive an award on February 17, 2017,” the Army said in a statement at the time. “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.”
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In January, Sig Sauer was announced as the official winner of the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition to replace the Beretta M9 as the Army’s official sidearm, beating out the likes of Glock, FN, Smith & Wesson and Beretta. First introduced in 2014, the P320 is a polymer, striker-fired pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the end user.
Last month, the Army confirmed that soldiers with the the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky. would be the first to field the 9mm Sig Sauer P320, redesignated as the M17, later this year.