The United States Army will continue to use Beretta pistols as soldiers' service sidearm.
According to a press release issued last week from Beretta, the Army awarded the company with a contract for up to 100,000 Beretta M9 pistols.
"This order reconfirms the US Armed Forces' interest and support of the M9 pistol," said Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta, president of Beretta Holding, in the press release. "The Beretta M9 remains the standard sidearm of the US Army. These pistols will support American troops in the field for years to come."
The M9, which has been in production since 1987, will be manufactured at the Beretta USA facility in Maryland. According to the press release, over 600,000 M9 pistols have been manufactured since then, and an initial order of over 4,600 has already been delivered to Beretta.
"We are very proud to continue supplying the M9 pistols to the U.S. Army, and we look forward to the opportunity of working with the Army to improve the current M9 design with many of the existing solutions available to us in the new Model 92A1 and 96A1 pistol families," said Gabriele de Plano, Beretta USA's vice president of military marketing and sales.
The M9, a 9mm military adaptation of the Beretta 92FS, features a 15+1-round double-stack magazine, as well as both single- and double-action operation. The M9 also features a mirror profile with ambidextrous thumb safety and decocker, equal slide serrations, symmetrical frame and mag release. It has proved to be an incredibly accurate pistol, with soldiers who may have never even fired a handgun before qualifying with the M9 on 25-yard courses.