The US Army selected the Sig Sauer P320 pistol for the Modular Handgun System (MHS), replacing the the service’s Beretta M9 pistol that has been in service in the past 30 years. The $580 million contract announced yesterday covers procurement over 10 years, of an unspecified number of handguns. According to unconfirmed estimates the Army is planning to buy 280,000 weapons but the program could increase to about 500,000 with additional orders from the Department of Defense and other services. The Army also plans to buy approximately 7,000 compact versions of the new handgun. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2018.

The Army began working with the small arms industry on Modular Handgun System in early 2013, but the joint effort has been in the works for more than five years. The Army evaluated four weapons for the MHS, from Sig Sauer, Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA. The Army wanted a handgun system that will outperform the current M9 system, be modular and fit different hand sizes.