Earlier this year, the U.S. Army issued a RFI for a “Sub Compact Weapon,” essentially a 9mm subgun. After cancelling that RFI “due to changes in the Government’s requirement,” the service then went ahead and put out what’s called new Prototype Opportunity Notice (PON) for the Sub Compact Weapon in July. Now, it’s being reported that the service has picked the six companies that it wants to submit Sub Compact Weapon prototypes.

Sub Compact Weapon Prototypes

According to Soldier Systems, these are the six companies that have been selected. It’s important to note that this is merely an offer; the companies still have to accept. There’s been no verification that all manufacturers have said they will participate:

Soldier Systems speculates that Angstadt Arms will submit its UDP-9. B&T USA will likely put forth its APC9K or APC9SD. Global Ordnance has confirmed to The Firearm Blog that its submission is the Stribog AP9A3S developed by Slovakia-based Grand Power. In addition, the scuttlebutt is that Shield Arms is going with the SA-9K. SIG, meanwhile, will probably submit the MPX K. Lastly, we’ve seen speculation that Trident Rifles will offer the B&T MP9.

Program Objective

Here’s the goal of the Sub Compact Weapon program, as stated in the PON:

United States military operations take place worldwide and in all types of terrains as well as under every environmental condition. The Secretary of the Army and/or the Chief of Staff approves senior commanders and key personnel as High Risk Personnel (HRP). HRPs are authorized a Personal Security Detail (PSD), which are assigned to guard against outlined threats. To address this operational need, PSD military personnel require weapons with greater lethality than pistols that are more concealable than rifles. The ultimate objective of this program is to acquire a highly concealable Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) system capable of engaging threat personnel with a high volume of lethal force while accurately firing at close range with minimal collateral damage.

Sub Compact Weapon Specs

The PON also lays out the desired specs for the Sub Compact Weapon:

  • Compatibility: Capable of attaching accessories / enablers.
  • Ammunition: 9mm (9x19mm North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and qualified Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) commercial ammunition). Must perform optimally with 147 grain 9mm ammunition. Must be able to fire marking/training round.
  • Firing Mode: Semi and full automatic selectable.
  • Ambidextrous Controls: All controls on both sides of weapon.
  • Safety: External safety control that prohibits firing.
  • Magazine Capacity: Shall include 20 round and 30 round magazines.
  • Magazine Loading: Magazines shall load from the bottom of the weapon and forward from the trigger.
  • Weapon color: Entire exterior surface of the weapon system to include all components shall be non-reflective black.
  • Weapon Length without suppressor: Weapon shall be less than 15 inches overall in collapsed position.
  • Weight – Weapon Only, unloaded with slings: Weapon shall be less than 7 pounds.
  • Buttstock: Telescopically collapsible.
  • Barrel Length without suppressor: Shall be no longer than 5.5 inches.
  • Operator Level Maintenance: Shall be maintainable at the operator level without the use of special tools.
  • Delivery Schedule: Delivery of 15 SCW systems within 30 calendar days after OTA award.

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