(Sputnik) – When the US Army awarded a handgun contract to German weapons-maker Sig Sauer, government officials warned that competitors would protest the half-billion dollar award. On Monday, those instincts were vindicated, as Austria-based Glock filed a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), disputing the decision.
The US Army chose the Sig Sauer 9mm P320 service sidearm for its new handgun to replace M9s currently in service. The Army plans to procure approximately 280,000 guns, and pending acquisitions by other military branches, the total could rise to 492,000 weapons. The due date for the government to respond to Glock’s dispute is June 5, according to the GAO.
Beginning in 2011, Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, and others comprised a field of competitors seeking to secure a large handgun contract worth up to $580 million. On January 27, Sputnik reported, “Beretta, Glock, or another of Sig Sauer’s competitors is expected to appeal the bidding decision with the Government Accountability Office.”
Sig Sauer’s gun was selected on the basis of its modularity, adjustable grips, and a lighter, shorter frame than some of its competitors. The Sig Sauer was shown to be five ounces lighter and half-an-inch shorter than the Beretta M9 firearm, a gun that has been in service for decades. The Sig Sauer weapon also has a removable fire control unit that users can insert into different units to fit varying sizes.
It is unclear whether President Trump’s inaugural vow to “buy American and hire American” will play into the final decision of the GAO.
In spite of Glock’s foreign ownership, a stateside division, Glock USA, has a factory in Smyrna, Georgia. A 2015 report found that “the factory currently is running 2 shifts a day, but, based on consumer demand, could run a third or even run 24/7, if 100,000 guns a month for American patriots was not enough,” Ammoland reported.
The GAO did not respond to a Sputnik International request for commentary as of publication time.
This report prepared by Sputnik.