US Army to field new Sig Sauer XM17 modular handguns
The US Army will introduce new Sig Sauer modular handguns for all of its units from November.
Sig Sauer produced the handguns under the $580m contract awarded in January after winning the army and air force's XM17 Modular Handgun Competition.
Soldiers at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, US, have tested the performance of the new XM17 handguns.
Members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will receive more than 2,000 pistols.
The weapons will be distributed to all army units over a ten-year period.
According to the current plan, the new handguns will be fielded at a different post each month from November 2017 until September 2018, except for March and April of 2018.
US Army Soldier Weapons product manager lieutenant colonel Steven Power said: "A big reason why the modular handgun system is such a leap ahead in ergonomics is because of the modular hand grips, instead of just making a one size fits all.
"The shooter will have a handgrip that fits their hand properly, which does a lot to improve accuracy -- not only on the first shot but also on subsequent shots."
Soldiers from different military branches have already been trained to use the new handguns, which offer an external safety and self-illuminating sights for low-light conditions.
The US Army will continue to use 9mm rounds, which are subcontracted to ammunition manufacturer Winchester.
Image: The army's new modular handgun, the XM17 and XM18, will be fielded by the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in November. Photo: courtesy of Sig Sauer.