The French National Police and Gendarmerie Nationale law enforcement branches have recently posted a solicitation for a submachine gun chambered for a 9x19mm Parabellum round. The solicitation was placed on Boamp.com, a French government run contract posting website. Specifically (as much as Google Translate will tell), the solicitation is for an entire suite of carbines, specifying 2000 submachine guns, 600 “training” replicas, blank firing adaptors, training devices, and interestingly enough, suppressors.
For those unaware, France has two national law enforcement branches that cover the majority of the country, similar to the FBI but much more extensive. The National Police force falls under the Ministry of the Interior, while the Gendarmerie Nationale falls under the Armed Forces. Both have roughly similar duties but have completely different areas of operation within the country. Combined, the forces are around 250,000 strong for policing a country of 66 million people.
According to the solicitation-
These weapons shall use all 9 × 19mm caliber ammunition in current service within the MI. They will be accompanied by accessories that promote ergonomics, grip, sighting and shooting. As an indication, the estimated needs for the duration of the framework agreement are in the order of: – 2000 PM Of “operational service” equipped with their peripheral equipment [2000 subguns] – 600 MPs of “theory and manipulation” equipped with their peripheral equipment – 200 solutions for reduced firing – 600 blanking plugs – 50 empty chamber indicators – 50 individual packs of maintenance – 75 batches of 10 chargers – 50 transport bags – 30 tactical braces – 50 tactical handles – 30 picatinny rails – 100 sound reducers – 2500 racks – 30 kits Armourers – 2 training sessions “maintenance of the submachine gun”.
Bids will be accepted until later this year, while the entire duration of the contract bidding and selection process will last approximately 48 months unless there is a delay.
We’ve earlier reported on the MRX by Fitelite Industries, a 9x19mm pistol caliber carbine which was created in response to backdoor French LE needs for up gunning Law Enforcement with ammunition commonality with a service handgun. This solicitation appears to be the public fruition of that rumor mill. Why the French aren’t pushing for an intermediate or larger rifle round when many of these attacks have utilized 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov pattern rifles, is interesting, especially when there is much to go against the ammunition commonality argument.