The US Army announced today that it is advancing the Modular Handgun System program ahead of its schedule. Due to pressure from Chief of Staff Milley, and a lack of entrants in the competition, the Army is dropping all solicitations for the existing 9x19mm NATO cartridge and focusing on the .40 S&W round. Further, program manager Colonel Scott Armstrong said to the press that only three packages submitted to the PEO Soldier office were complete enough to advance to the next phase of testing and evaluation:
“We are focusing on the 10x22mm .40 S&W round and have dropped consideration for the legacy 9x19mm NATO round, because our analysis indicates that the .40 caliber has the highest probability for improving lethality for the soldier. We have eliminated all but three handgun proposals as well, those being the Heckler & Koch VP40, SIG P320, and Canik TP40AF,” Armstrong said.
Up until now, the entrants to MHS have been unknown. The selection of Canik’s entry to advance is certainly surprising, as I was not even aware the Turkish arms company had made a proposal.
Armstrong said about the companies:
“All three companies we advanced submitted excellent proposals. All three manufacturers have a record of producing high quality firearms, and their proposals promise a great value for the Army, especially Canik’s.”
When asked about the Army’s decision, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said:
“The Army is very impressed with Canik’s proposal. Value is especially important for this program if it is going to meet Gen. Milley’s mandate of a $17 million fleet cost. It’s also very important that we strengthen ties with our allies in the Middle East and in NATO, and a procurement deal with Turkey would be a great way to do that.”
The model Canik submitted to the MHS competition is called the “TP40AF”, “AF” standing for “Army Forces”, not “April Fools”. It is reportedly based on the decocker-model TP9 v2 shown below: