On Nov. 25, 2014, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems announced their partnership to pursue the U.S. Army's Modular Handgun System (MHS) solicitation. The partnership aims to replace the Beretta M9 with the Smith & Wesson M&P Polymer Pistol platform as the standard sidearm of the U.S. Army.
In production since 2005, the M&P pistol is currently deployed with law enforcement in the U.S. and worldwide. The Army's draft MHS solicitation identifies design and performance requirements for a new modular handgun system that can be easily adjusted to fit all hand sizes and is optimized for improved gun, ammunition and magazine performance.
"This partnership combines General Dynamics' proven legacy in manufacturing military armaments with Smith & Wesson's extensive experience in designing and manufacturing firearms for commercial applications," said Tim McAuliffe, vice president and general manager of medium caliber ammunition and weapons for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. "General Dynamics' extensive background in winning and managing military contracts brings proven leadership to the venture and by joining together, we will use our combined knowledge and expertise to bring this unique capability to the U.S. military to better equip the warfighter."
Smith & Wesson President and CEO, James Debney, said, "The strategic partnership between our two companies provides us with a tremendous opportunity to support our military with a state-of-the-art sidearm, namely our M&P pistol. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems brings us a wealth of experience and resource in federal government contracting and that capability is an ideal match with our knowledge in handgun manufacturing technology. We look forward to working together to pursue this exciting opportunity to support our military."
The Army's stated plan is to commence the competition in January 2015, with delivery of the first new handgun systems in 2017.
G&A wants to know: Which handgun do you think represents the future of the U.S. Army's standard sidearm? Let us know in the comments below.