Newington, NH (November 28, 2017) – Today the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) became the first unit to field the U.S. Army’s new M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System. The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) began fielding the new handguns today at Fort Campbell, Kentucky under the command of Col. Derek K. Thomson.
“What a great day,” said Thomson. “To witness modernization firsthand as my soldiers became the first in the Army and this storied division to fire the new pistol is an absolute honor.”
The MHS handgun is a variant of the SIG SAUER® P320® pistol and is equipped with an external safety, an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for the attachment of light and laser systems, self-illuminating night sights to maintain combat effectiveness in all lighting conditions, and is capable of accepting a sound suppressor.
Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER, Inc., said “We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG SAUER employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most accurate and reliable firearms in the world.”
Over the next 10 years the Army will distribute the new MHS handguns to all Army units replacing the M9 pistol, which has been in service since 1986.
“That’s pretty dated technology,” said Lt. Col. Steven Power, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, individual weapons product manager. “The specific performance improvements of the MHS over the M9 include better accuracy, tighter dispersion, and better ergonomics, which when combined, result in a far more lethal pistol.”
“The world has changed since the strength and resilience of this division was forged during the maelstrom of World War II,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) commander. “In order to maintain our decisive edge, we must continue to outpace our potential adversaries with more lethal capabilities, from the modular handgun system we fielded today to the innovative and adaptive air assault concepts, equipment and training the 101st continues to perfect.”