- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2017

The U.S. Army’s exhaustive search for a replacement to the Beretta M9 standard-issue sidearm is over.

Soldiers have gripped the Beretta’s M9 since the 1980s, but Sig Sauer Inc. put an end to that era on Thursday. The company secured a contract worth roughly $580 million to produce its version of the Modular Handgun System, the Sig Sauer Model P320.

“We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice,” Ron Cohen, president and CEO of Sig Sauer, said in a statement on the gunmaker’s Facebook page Friday. “Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”

Mr. Cohen’s company beat out Smith & Wesson, Beretta and Glock in a competition that began in 2011. The weapons will be produced at Sig Sauer facilities New Hampshire.

“I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System team,” Army acquisition executive Steffanie Easter said in a press release on Thursday. “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we have optimized private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”

Army Times noted Thursday that Green Berets often use Glock 9mm pistols, while Navy SEALs tend to favor Sig Sauer’s P226 and Heckler & Koch’s .45-caliber HK45C.

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