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GAO Denies Glock Protest of Army's New Sidearm Pick

The Government Accountability Office today denied a protest filed by Glock, Inc., against the U.S. Army’s decision to select Sig Sauer, Inc., to make the service’s new Modular Handgun System.

In early January, Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm pistol in the MHS competition to replace the M9.

Glock, based in Smyrna, Georgia, filed the protest with the GAO on Feb. 24, challenging the Army’s interpretation of the solicitation regarding the minimum number of contract awards required by the Request for Proposal, according to a statement by Ralph O. White, managing associate general counsel for Procurement Law at GAO. Glock also alleged that the Army improperly evaluated its proposal.

“GAO denied the challenge to the interpretation of the solicitation, finding that the RFP allowed the Army to make only one award, although up to three awards were permitted by the RFP’s terms, White wrote. “GAO also denied the challenge to the Army’s evaluation of Glock’s proposal on the basis that any errors did not prejudice Glock in the competition.”

The Army launched its long-awaited XM17 Modular Handgun System competition in late August 2015 to replace its Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol.

The Army awarded Newington, New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer the MHS contract Jan. 19, selecting a version of its P320 to replace the Beretta M9 service pistol. The decision formally ended the Beretta’s 30-year hold on the Army’s sidearm market.

GAO stated that the contract is worth up to $170 million, but the Army’s announcement described the deal as being worth up to $580 million. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

The 10-year agreement calls for Sig to supply the Army with full-size and compact versions of its 9mm pistol. The pistols can be outfitted with suppressors and accommodate standard and extended capacity magazines.

The Army and the other services intend to buy 421,000 MHS pistols. Army weapons officials announced recently that the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) will be the first unit to receive the new service pistol.

GAO’s “decision was issued under a protective order because the decision may contain proprietary and source selection sensitive information,” White wrote.

“GAO has directed counsel for the parties to promptly identify information that cannot be publicly released so that GAO can expeditiously prepare and release a public version of the decision,” White added.

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