The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Monday rejected a protest from gunmaker Glock seeking to overturn the U.S. Army’s award of a 10-year, $580 million contract for its new handgun to Sig Sauer. The contract was awarded to Sig Sauer in January after a nearly 10-year long competition to replace the Beretta M9, the Army’s handgun of choice for the past 30 years.
Glock protested the Army’s decision based on the service’s “interpretation of the solicitation regarding the minimum number of contract awards required by the” request for proposal (RFP), according to a GAO email to ArmyTimes.
U.S. handgun maker Smith & Wesson, now part of American Outdoor Brands Corp. (NYSE: AOBC), was eliminated from further consideration for the contract last December, along with firearms makers FN America and Beretta.
The GAO denied Glock’s protest saying that the Army was permitted to award up to three contracts under the terms of the RFP, but that it was not required to do so. The company also said the Army did not accurately evaluate the proposal, a challenge that the GAO also denied.
Glock, Sig Sauer or the Army may request the GAO to reconsider the decision within 10 days.
The Beretta M9 replaced the .45 caliber Colt 1911 model in 1985 and also replaced the .45 caliber round with a NATO-standard 9mm round. Sig Sauer’s P320 MHS (modular handgun system) includes interchangeable grip modules and can be adjusted for frame size and caliber by the operator. Glock’s entries were its Glock 17 and Glock 19.
The Sig Sauer P320 MHS can use 9mm, .357SIG and .40S&W rounds. The company submitted both the 9mm and .40 caliber round for consideration, and the Army chose to stick with the NATO standard 9mm round.
Unconfirmed reports in January indicated that the Army plans to acquire 280,000 of the weapons with a possible increase to as many as 500,000, including accessories and ammunition. The Army is also believed to be purchasing about 7,000 of the compact version of the weapon designed to fit smaller hand sizes.
Sig Sauer is a subsidiary of Germany’s Luke & Ortmeier Gruppe with an operation based in New Hampshire.