The United States Army is offering manufacturers of firearms the rare chance of selling the military a new handgun to replace their current model which goes back all the way to the Cold War.
In order to be selected as the chosen company, the manufacturers must meet a wide range of requirements. Whichever company is selected will be able to achieve an extremely lucrative deal with the American military.
The Army says that it needs a handgun that can be fired more easily while inflicting more damage to the enemies. The contract for producing the guns for the Army will be worth up to $580 million.
Additionally, the chosen manufacturer will have the ability to put a stamp of approval on their products, saying that they are used by the United States Military. This will undoubtedly attract other parties to do business with the weapons producer.
The current handgun used by the Army is called the M9. It is a 9mm semi-automatic handgun that is intended to be used as a defensive weapon of last resort. It is manufactured by Beretta USA Corp.
The M9 has been issued since 1985, and critics claim that is too bulky for reliable usage. Troops that used the weapon in Iraq and Afghanistan say that it did not do a good job of deterring enemies due to its weak shooting power.
Additionally, the weapon is considered to be outdated since it cannot accommodate accessories such as gun-sights or gun-mounted lights.
Firearms instructor and former member of the Army who served two tours in Iraq Rodney Briggs said, “It's a little one size-fits-most, and not everybody is one size. It's been around for a really, really long time, and it's just old and outdated."
The M9 is usually carried by soldiers with duties that make it unnecessary to carry around a rifle or a carbine. Senior officers, tankers, pilots and those using team-operated weapons often use an M9 handgun. The new weapon that is chosen will replace the M9 in all circumstances.