Army officials announced that they have rejected the Beretta M9A3, an improved version of the M9 pistol, and are continuing to search for a replacement for the M9 after over 30 years of service.
After recently announcing that they are looking for a replacement for the Beretta M9 handgun, Army officials have rejected proposals from the company to evaluate the M9A3, an improved version of the pistol.
The Beretta M9A3 features (among other things) new and better sights, an accessory rail, an improved safety, and more ergonomic grips. The M9A3 would also be chambered in 9x19mm NATO and could use existing magazines and holsters that are already in the Army inventory.
Army officials have stated that the new Beretta M9A3 design does not meet requirements set forth as part of the new Modular Handgun System (MHS), which is the program the Army and Air Force will use to select their new sidearm.
Beretta claims that the M9A3 addresses many of the complaints that Soldiers have regarding the M9 pistol, such as the fact that it lacks an accessory rail, and that the new handgun could be adopted by the military for significantly less than the MHS.
Gabriele De Plano, vice president of military marketing and sales for Beretta USA, stated that the M9 pistol can be:
Improved for hundreds of millions less than a new MHS pistol. We can sell them this new pistol for less than the M9 pistol.
The Department of Defense is planning on purchasing nearly 500,000 new pistols over the next few years. This is expected to cost in excess of $350 million and potentially much more if the military opts to adopt a new caliber, such as .40 S&W or .45 ACP.
Though it is unclear how much money the Army could have saved by selecting the Beretta M9A3, the cost savings are likely significant.
Not only would the per unit price of the M9A3 actually be less than the M9 pistol, but the pistols are similar enough that many spare parts, which are already in the Army inventory, would also be interchangeable.
Additionally, the adoption of the M9A3 would also not require extensive retraining of Soldiers, potentially saving millions of additional dollars for the military.
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