The Modular Handgun System (MHS) is a U.S. military competition for a new handgun. The Modular Handgun System is anticipated to be the next U.S. military standard side arm replacing the M9 pistol.
The requirement for the new pistol originated with the MHS program initiated by the Air Force in 2008. It has received Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validation. The MHS program was to select a commercial off-the-shelf handgun in financial year (FY) 2011–2012. Testing was to be completed by FY2013 and type classification was expected in FY2014.
Testing and evaluation of replacement pistols is now expected to begin in early 2014. The new pistol will also be carried by more soldiers, namely squad and team leaders. A three-year test and evaluation will determine if a commercial off-the-shelf contender can replace all 239,000 M9s, as well as the concealable M11. The program is in conjunction with the Air Force. The House Armed Services Committee is still pushing to upgrade the M9 rather than pursue a new program. Project officers believe buying a new pistol is cheaper than improving and maintaining the M9 and offers designs that outperform it. The three-year engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) phase will test a variety of capabilities including accuracy, dispersion, compatibility, and corrosion resistance. Pistols will be tested in extreme weather and extreme combat conditions.
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