Dell Technologies

By Debbie Gregory.

The base-model holsters for the Army’s new Modular Handgun System (MHS) will be supplied by Atlantic Diving Supply (ADS). The firm-fixed-price contract for the Modular Handgun Holster came it at $49 million

The holsters will be used with the Modular Handgun System M17 and M18 pistols.

The Sig Sauer M17 handgun is the U.S. Army’s replacement for the aging M9 Beretta, which has been in use since the 1980s. The M18 is a more compact version with a shorter barrel for use by military police investigators and other positions that require a smaller frame.

What began as a local dive shop, ADS grew into a large military equipment supplier by striving to outfit the military and first responders with the most advanced gear and equipment available. According to Bloomberg Government’s annual Federal Industry Leaders report ADS had $1.6 billion worth of federal contracts in 2017, making it the 42nd largest contractor.

The Virginia Beach, VA based company beat out five other companies to secure the contract.

ADS will supply the tan-colored Safariland Group holster that features a dual locking system. The locks can be released with the shooter’s firing hand thumb.

The Army also plans to field a light-compatible holster in the future that will allow soldiers in infantry and other direct-action units to carry the MHS with a weapon light mounted on the pistol’s accessory rail.

The service intends to have soldiers from operational units evaluate both light models. If all goes well, it would then assign each light model with a national stock number so unit commanders could purchase them with unit funds, according to Army officials.

The Army intends to field about 238,000 MHS pistols.

In September 2017, ADS was sued by the US Government for False Claims Act violations, including illegal bid-rigging. The case was settled out of court with ADS paying $16 million.

According to the award announcement, ADS beat out five other companies for the winning bid. Issued through the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the contract is expected to run through 2023.


How Much Did the Army Pay for New Service Pistols?

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By Debbie Gregory.

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded that the U.S. Army got a good deal on its new Modular Handgun System (MHS), but the actual cost is not really known.

CRS, the public policy research arm of Congress,  provides vital analytical support to address the most complex public policy issues facing the nation.

The Army MHS is a weapon system produced by Sig Sauer that is set to replace the Beretta M9/11 pistol, used by the Army since 1986.

The 10-year, firm-fixed-price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract has a cap of $580 million. A firm-fixed-price contract provides a unit price that is not subject to any adjustments based on the contractor’s costs in meeting the contract requirements. Indefinite quantity means the Army can order as many or as few units as it requires, up to the $580 million contract cap. To date, the Army has obligated approximately $8 million.

While cost data for the Army contract is not publicly available, the cost of similar weapons, accessories, and ammunition can be found at major firearm sellers. For example, CRS compared the MHS contract to a similar purchase at Cabela’s, a gun retailer mentioned by Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley in a March 10, 2015, address. The comment was in regards to Milley’s frustration with the extended length of time the procurement of the handgun had required.

With that said, based on the final cost of the weapon program, the CRS report concluded that the Army appears to be procuring the weapon at a competitive cost, particularly if the value of the intellectual property is included.

CRS did not examine the capability of the weapon system or whether it fulfilled Army requirements.