The U.S. Army has released a draft solicitation that lays out the service's latest plans to replace the M9 9mm pistol with the Modular Handgun System.
Army weapons officials plan to open the official competition next year with the goal of awarding a contract to a single gun maker for nearly 300,000 new pistols by 2018.
"We expect to release the final solicitation in 2016," Col. Scott Armstrong, the head of Project Manager for Soldier Weapons, said in a June 17 press release from Program Executive Office Soldier.
"This will be followed by a phased down-select process that will run through 2017. When all is said and done, the XM17 will provide Warfighters with greater accuracy, target acquisition, ergonomic design. The new handgun will also be more reliable, durable and easier to maintain."