General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD) has entered a strategic partnership with Smith & Wesson to compete for the US Army's XM17 modular handgun system (MHS) programme.
Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, GD will supply hammer-forged, military-grade gun barrels for Smith & M&P Polymer pistol platform.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems medium calibre ammunition and weapons vice-president and general manager Tim McAuliffe said: "With 32 years of experience in producing military grade, hammer forged barrels, General Dynamics brings additional cost-effective manufacturing capability to Smith & Wesson for the Army's XM17 MHS competition.
"We believe our combined capabilities will provide the Army with the most advantageous MHS solution while expanding our global strategic partnership."
The MHS programme involves the development of a new military standard side arm to replace the army's existing Beretta M9 semi-automatic pistol.
Smith & Wesson president and CEO James Debney said: "A key initiative within our strategic plan has been the continual development of our flexible manufacturing model through added component outsourcing. That approach has served us well by providing a solid and highly adaptable manufacturing platform for growth.
"Our contract with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems represents an enhancement of that initiative and demonstrates the evolution of our partnership.
"Together, we believe we are well positioned to compete for the army's XM17MHS programme, for which we recently submitted our proposal."
Smith & Wesson's M&P Polymer Pistol has been designed with a reinforced polymer chassis, superior ergonomics, ambidextrous controls and proven safety features.
Image: GD will supply hammer forged, military grade gun barrels for Smith & M&P Polymer pistol platform. Photo: courtesy of Parsecboy.