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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.

Top 13 Army Picks for Subcompact Weapons Testing

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The U.S. Army had awarded contracts under the Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) program, worth approximately $200,000, to ten companies to submit submachine guns for the service branch to evaluate.

Then a few weeks later, the service branch expanded the scope of the test and  added three more submachine guns to the mix: the Angstadt Arms’ UDP-9, the Heckler & Koch UMP9, and the Noveske Sub Compact Weapon.

The Army is reportedly considering them for units tasked with protecting senior Army leaders.

The list of sole-source contracts for the subcompact weapons, in alphabetical order, are:

Angstadt Arms for UDP-9

Beretta USA Corporation for PMX subcompact weapon

Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC for CM9MM-9H-M5A, Colt Modular 9mm subcompact weapon

CMMG Inc. for Ultra PDW subcompact weapon

CZ-USA for Scorpion EVO 3 A1 submachine gun

Heckler & Koch for UMP9

Lewis Machine & Tool Company for MARS-L9 compact suppressed weapon

Noveske for Sub Compact Weapon

PTR Industries Inc. for PTR 9CS subcompact weapon

Quarter Circle 10 LLC 5.5 CLT and 5.5 QV5 subcompact weapons

Sig Sauer Inc. for MPX subcompact weapon

Trident Rifles LLC for B&T MP9 machine gun

Zenith Firearms for Z-5RS, Z-5P and Z-5K subcompact weapons

The contracts come on the heels of a Request for Information issued last May for a SCW that will fire 9×19-millimeter (9mm Luger) ammunition, fire full automatic, and have a Picatinny rail for attaching lights and optics.

The ten companies awarded contracts are from the U.S. and Europe. Gunmaker Colt is the first on the list, with what is described as the Colt Modular 9mm Sub Compact Weapon.

Some of the weapons, such as the Colt, CMMG, LMT, and Quarter Circle offerings are likely based on so-called short barrel AR15 “pistols” using the AR15/M16/M4 operating system.

Other guns are based on the famous Heckler and Koch MP-5 submachine gun.

The U.S. Army has not fielded a new submachine gun since World War II.

dump truck

The U.S. Army is shopping around for its next armored dump truck.

The U.S Army has plans to purchase 683 M917A3 armored dump trucks. To that end, the service branch is inviting industry to compete for chance to build these new armored dump trucks.

The new M917A3 requires a max payload of 27 tons on primary and secondary roads. The crew cab and underbody armor protection should be capable of being changed out separately based on the mission without affecting performance.

According to the May 26 solicitation, the Army intends to award a Single-Source Award, Firm-Fixed Price, Seven-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity commercial contract for the dump truck.

The solicitation states: “The Army requires units with dependable and deployable M917A3s that have reduced operations and support costs and increased operational effectiveness and readiness over existing systems. This is critical to support the Joint Forces as they conduct more operations in areas of the world with austere infrastructures and little or no host nation support. The M917A3 will be capable of supporting mobility, counter mobility, survivability and sustainment operations.”

The Contract Data Requirements packet is 121 pages and is available for downloading at govtribe.com. Responses are due July 25

The last time the Army purchased new dump trucks was in 17 years ago when it awarded a $400 million contract to Freightliner LLC to build almost 3,400 M917A2s, as well as M915A3 line haul tractors and M916A3 light equipment transporters.

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