The US Army on 28 November began fielding its first M17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) sidearms to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which is to receive about 2,000 of the pistols.
The 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, and “one of the army’s new security force assistance brigades” will be next to receive the M17.
The long-running MHS project, intended to replace legacy 9 mm M9 Beretta pistols, was awarded on 19 January with a total USD580.217 million ceiling. The army selected the 9 mm Sig Sauer model P320 as the M17’s basis. The contract also allows the government to buy Sig Sauer’s proposed XM1152 Full Metal Jacket and XM1153 Special Purpose ammunition and training rounds. It is still expected to reach full-rate production in 2018.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team is the first 101st Airborne Division unit to field the M17. “More expansive, battalion and brigade-level fielding initiatives will begin across the division in the coming weeks,” the unit said in a statement.
The division received its shipment of “more than 2,000 M17 and M18 handguns” on 17 November and then “unpacked, inventoried, inspected, and test-fired a portion of the pistols”, it said. The M18 is a compact version of the M17.
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