The US Army Program Executive Office Soldier, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, has issued full-material release (FMR) notification for Sig Sauer’s modular handgun system (MHS).

The FMR represents the final approval for the MHS programme from the US Army.

Sig Sauer developed the system in conjunction with Winchester Ammunition. MHS includes the M17 full-size, and M18 compact handguns, as well as Winchester Ammunition’s M1152 ball, M1153 special purpose, and M1156 drilled dummy inert.

The M17 and M18 9mm striker-fired handguns and associated ammunition have undergone testing and evaluation by the army before being declared fit and safe.

Sig Sauer president and CEO Ron Cohen said: “The army’s announcement of full material release is the final stamp of approval for the MHS programme, and a true testament to the successful collaboration of the US Army, Sig Sauer, and Winchester Ammunition to deliver the highest quality MHS programme to our soldiers in the field.

“The FMR notification really highlights the safety and quality of the M17 and M18 handguns, and the success of the MHS programme in its entirety.”

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The company has so far delivered more than 59,000 modular handguns to the US Government, while Winchester Ammunition supplied over 44 million rounds of ammunition for MHS.

The firms intend to supply an additional 350,000 handguns and 100 million rounds of ammunition in the coming five to seven years.

Cohen added: “We are enthused by this announcement, and honoured to have all the branches of the US Military participating in the MHS programme. These are both important and significant steps to ensuring that MHS, the M17 and M18 handguns, and Winchester Ammunition will serve the US Military well into the future.”

The handguns feature stainless steel slides coated in coyote-tan physical vapour deposition (PVD) corrosion-resistant finish.

They come with 17-round and 21-round magazines and SIGLITE front night sights, removable night sight rear plates, and manual safeties.

In 2017, the army revealed that soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division will receive the first batch of Sig Sauer P320 semi-automatic pistol, replacing the Beretta M9.

Last month, the company announced that the US Marine Corps (USMC) will adopt the M18 as their official duty pistol.