US Army to field XM17 from November
The US Army will begin fielding the new Sig Sauer XM17 Modular Handgun to soldiers in November 2017, it was announced on 21 July.
The US Army's 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is to be the first unit to receive the new handgun, following the completion of testing over the spring at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The pistol is replacing the Beretta M9, which came into service in 1986.
101 Airborne is scheduled to receive about 2,000 pistols in November, with the roll out to the rest of the army to take place over a ten-year period.
The US Army's version of the Sig Sauer P320, the weapon will come in two variants - the XM17 and XM18. The weapon features improved durability and adjustability over the M9, along with interchangeable grips, external safety and self-illuminating sight.
Sig Sauer won the $580 million contract for the weapons in January after winning the army and air force's XM17 Modular Handgun Competition. The army will continue to use 9mm rounds with the gun and has sub-contracted Winchester for the ammunition.
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