The U.S. Army has awarded a $49 million contract to Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. to supply the base-model holsters for the service's new Modular Handgun System (MHS).
ADS, a large military equipment supplier in Virginia Beach, beat out five other bids to supply the Modular Handgun Holster (MHH) for the M17 and M18 versions of MHS, according to a July 30 contract award announcement posted on Defense.gov. The competing firms were not named in the award notice.
The Army confirmed that ADS will supply the same Safariland Group holster that Program Executive Office Soldier unveiled last December, according to Debra Dawson, spokeswoman for PEO Soldier.
The tan-colored holster features a dual locking system that can be released with the shooter's firing hand thumb.
The Army also plans to field a light-compatible holster in the future that will allow soldiers in infantry and other direct-action units to carry the MHS with a weapon light mounted on the pistol's accessory rail.
"In its initial configuration, the MHH design holster will hold an M17/M18 handgun only. When the Army selects a light, the vendor producing the MHH will be responsible to also produce a holster that accommodates an M17 (and M18) with a light attached to the handgun," Dawson said in a statement.
So far, the Army has identified pistol lights equipped with infrared aiming lasers made by LaserMax Defense and Streamlight that meet its requirements.
The service intends to have soldiers from operational units evaluate both light models. If all goes well, it would then assign each light model with a national stock number so unit commanders could purchase them with unit funds, Army officials said.
ADS is expected to complete delivery of the base model Modular Handgun Holster by July 29, 2023, the award notice states. The Army intends to field about 238,000 MHS pistols.
The Army awarded Sig Sauer the MHS contract, worth up to $580 million, in January 2017 after the firm beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, to find a replacement for the Cold War-era M9.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.