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By Dan Zimmerman on January 9, 2015
In what has to be a big blow to Beretta, military.com is reporting, “U.S. Army weapons officials will not evaluate an improved version of the service’s Cold War-era 9mm pistol, choosing instead to search for a more modern soldier sidearm. In early December, Beretta USA, the maker of the U.S. military’s M9 pistol for 30 years, submitted its modernized M9A3 as a possible alternative to the Army’s Modular Handgun System program — an effort to replace the M9 with a more powerful, state-of-the-art pistol.” It seems the M9’s reliability and frame-mounted safety were the primary factors in the decision. Just what the new handgun will look like is yet to be determined. “The move clears the way for the Army to release a pending request for proposal that will launch the MHS competition. … If successful, it would result in the Defense Department buying nearly 500,000 new pistols during a period of significant defense-spending reductions.” . . .
Apparently, the Army had already decided they didn’t want to stick with the decades-old Beretta platform.
“Obviously, they didn’t take a whole lot of time on this,” said Gabriele De Plano, vice president of military marketing and sales for Beretta USA, reacting to the news of the Army’s pre-Christmas decision after the M9A3’s December 10 unveiling.
Army officials “didn’t ask a single question; didn’t ask for a single sample” for evaluation, De Plano said.
Ouch. Any bets as to what the winning pistol will be…and who will produce it?