ADS Wins Army Contract for Modular Handgun Holsters

    M17 in holster with 101st Airborne (US Army/Lewis Perkins)

    The Department of Defence has announced the award of a $50 million contract to ADS for the supply of holsters for the Army’s new Modular Handgun System. Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. Beat off bids from six other interested companies to win the contract to provide holsters for the full size M17 and compact M18.

    Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. or ADS are a major defense contractor that, according to their site, provides “equipment, procurement, logistics, and supply chain solutions”. Back in September 2017, however, they were sued by the US Government for False Claims Act violations, including illegal bid-rigging, the case was settled out of court with ADS paying $16 million. According to Bloomberg Government’s annual Federal Industry Leaders report ADS had $1.6 billion worth of federal contracts in 2017, making it the 42nd largest contractor.

    Which pattern of holster ADS will be manufacturing for the Army was not confirmed but in December 2017, the Army confirmed that a version of Safariland’s 7TS was set to be adopted. This seems likely, as according to their website, ADS carry a number of Safariland products. The 7TS holster uses a thumb break locking lever to hold the pistol firmly in the holster and has both an automatic ALS locking lever and an SLS retention loop.

    Modular Handgun Holster unveiled by Army in late 2017, based on 7TS. (Image source: Matthew Cox, Used with permission)

    The Modular Handgun Holster, like the pistols themselves, will come in tan and will have the ability to be worn low-ride and drop leg, it also has molle mounting brackets.

    Here’s the Department of Defense’s official award announcement, posted on 30th July:

    Atlantic Diving Supply Inc.,* Virginia Beach, Virginia, was awarded a $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the Modular Handgun Holster to be used with the Modular Handgun System M17 and M18 pistols. Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 29, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-18-D-0223)

    It is unclear if these new holsters from ADS will also be able to fit the new Laser/Light Modules currently being tested by the Army. In December 2017, it was reported that the Army’s was at work on a specialised alternate holster for this purpose. As the Module has not yet been selected this holster variant has not been confirmed. Completion of the Modular Handgun Holster contract is scheduled for the end of July, 2023.

    Sources: 1 2 4

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]