In March I reported that S&W won the contact to supply the Belgian Federal Police with 9mm pistols to replace their aging arsenal of FN/Browning GP-35 (Hi-Power) pistols. Not getting this contract was a big blow to FN Herstal, who have been laying off workers because of poor sales. Smith & Wesson’s press release follows …
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC), parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 159-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection, and sport, announced today that it has recently received a contract from the Belgium Federal Police calling for 20,000 Smith & Wesson® Military & Police (M&P) 9mm polymer pistols over a ten-year period. The police agency, a force with 12,500 officers, has received an initial shipment of 2,500 pistols as part of the full department conversion to Smith & Wesson duty firearms.
After an open evaluation process that included numerous competitors, the Smith & Wesson M&P9 was selected for its performance and for the support services provided by the Company. A thorough test and evaluation process by the Belgium Federal Police indicated that the firearm’s reliability, interchangeable grips sizes and low perceived recoil were among the key drivers in the decision. In addition to duty pistols, the Belgium Federal Police also placed orders for simunition and dedicated training firearms based on the M&P platform. The firearms offered by Smith & Wesson were supported with a full range of services, including armorer’s training. The Company also provided the agency with product manuals in multiple languages in order to ease the transition process.
The pistols ordered by the Belgium Federal Police were based upon the well established M&P platform, which has been adopted by hundreds of police agencies and has achieved popularity with consumers as well. The M&P9 pistols were built to meet the exact specifications set forth by the police agency. Enhanced features included luminescent sights, a manual thumb safety with on/off red dot indicator, and a raised loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide that could be felt by hand. The M&P9 pistols retained the original design features and were supplied with two 17-round magazines along with cleaning materials.
Mario Pasantes, Smith & Wesson’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Global Professional Sales, said, “We are pleased to support the long-term needs of the Belgium Federal Police with our M&P pistols, which have become a sidearm of choice for law enforcement agencies in both the United States and around the globe. Our M&P line includes a full range of calibers and is designed to meet the exacting standards and tough test criteria used by professionals, such as the Belgium Federal Police. At the same time, our M&P firearms have become popular with consumers who have come to appreciate the pistol’s professional-grade performance and features.”