Navy Orders 60,000 Compact Versions of Army's New Sidearm

Sig Sauer’s commercial MHS version with the frame-mounted manual safety. Photo by Matthew Cox/
Sig Sauer’s commercial MHS version with the frame-mounted manual safety. Photo by Matthew Cox/

The U.S. Navy plans to field 60,000 of the Army's new Modular Handgun System to replace its stock of M9 pistols.

"The Navy has contracted with Sig Sauer to procure 60,000 Modular Handgun Systems," Navy spokesman Ben Anderson told

The compact XM18 variant of MHS "will replace the Beretta M9 and Sig Sauer M11 sidearms that are currently in the fleet," Anderson said, adding that "money has been allocated for contracting this year, with delivery to the Navy to commence in FY19."

The Army awarded Sig Sauer an MHS contract worth up to $580 million in January 2017. The 10-year MHS agreement calls for Sig Sauer to supply the service with full-size XM17 and compact XM18 versions of its 9mm pistol.

The Marine Corps has also budgeted money in its proposed fiscal 2019 budget to purchase 35,000 MHS pistols to replace its M9, M9A1, M45A1, and M007 pistols. Marine Corps Systems Command officials declined to comment on the budget submission.

The striker-fired MHS pistols can be outfitted with suppressors and accommodate standard and extended-capacity magazines. There is also an accessory rail for mounting accessories such as weapon lights.

The Air Force and Coast Guard have also placed orders to purchase MHS, according to Sig Sauer. The other services are authorized to purchase the MHS through the Army contract, according to Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer for Sig Sauer. has contacted the Air Force and Coast Guard for comment but has not received a response.

This is not the first time the services have agreed to adopt a common pistol. The Army selected the M9 in 1985 to replace the .45 caliber 1911A1, and the M9 soon became the sidearm for entire U.S. military.

The Army intends to purchase 195,000 MHS pistols, mostly in the full-size XM17 version.

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta in the MHS competition, an effort the Army launched in late August 2015.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at

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