TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘Contracts’ Category

Australian Army – LAND 400 Phase 2 Announcement: Rheinmetall has been selected to deliver Australia’s new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle, the Boxer CRV

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Following a rigorous testing process, Rheinmetall’s Boxer CRV was assessed as the most capable vehicle for the Australian Army. The vehicle will enhance the safety, security and protection of our troops, and will replace the ageing Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV).

The vehicles will be equipped with high levels of protection; firepower and mobility provided by the vehicles will be used for operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat. They will able be used at facilities in Puckapunyal, Bandiana, Adelaide, Townsville and Enoggera.

The Boxer will be manufactured in South East Queensland and use over 24 manufacturers located across Australia.

Photo: LTCOL McKendry

US Army Issues Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle Prototype Opportunity Notice

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

The U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), on behalf of Project Manager Soldier Weapons, is seeking proposals in regards to a Prototype Opportunity Notice (PON) for Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR). The NGSAR is the first variant of the Next Generation Squad Weapons. The NGSAR will address operational needs identified in various capability based assessments and numerous after action reports. The NGSAR is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a rifle, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range, and lethality. The weapon will be lightweight and fire lightweight ammunition, improving Soldier mobility, survivability, and firing accuracy. Soldiers will employ the NGSAR against close and extended range targets in all terrains and conditions. The NGSAR support concept will be consistent and comparable to the M249 SAW involving the Army two-level field and sustainment maintenance system.


NSGAR promises to be the most significant change to small arms technology since the 1960s. In one program, they hope to replace both the M4 carbine and M249 SAW. Hopefully, this won’t prove to be another Individual Carbine program where industry spends millions of Dollars and offers significant improvement but institutional momentum gets in the way of progress. Fortunately, the Chief of Staff of the Army supports this initiative, but the program schedule will take it out long past his tenure. Hopefully, it will remain an Army priority.

Acquisition Methodology
The US government is trying to speed up the way it procures material for the Department of Defense. This program’s means of acquisition is a lot more like how the military procured the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle than how they purchased Modular Handgun System.

The Army’s schedule for NSGAR is also very aggressive. Lots of time and money has been spent on the Lightweight Small Arms Technology development effort which has been used to inform this effort. It’s gotten them this far, but the fact that they are moving forward with NSGAR tells me that at least someone realizes it’s still not yet ready for prime time. That means we are going to see a lot of new ideas with NSGAR.


The purpose of this PON is to award up to five Prototype OTAs with the goal of developing, within 12 months, a system demonstrator representative to include a functional prototype weapon, 2,000 rounds ammunition(s), fire control (day and night), bipod, suppressor, enablers (optional), spare part(s) to support firing 2,000 rounds, special tools, and operator manuals capable of firing and demonstrating the proposed capabilities to meet the lethality requirements. The goal is to develop system demonstrator representative of a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 6.

A system Demonstrator refers to a functional prototype weapon, 2,000 rounds ammunition(s), fire control (day and night), bipod, suppressor, enablers (optional), spare part(s) to support firing 2,000 rounds, special tools, and operator manuals capable of firing and demonstrating the proposed capabilities to meet the lethality requirements.

Following these efforts, a full and open competitive PON for a follow-on system integration prototype project may be announced. Participation in this system demonstrator PON is not required for participation in the follow-on system integration prototype project.

This Future Follow-On System Integration Prototype Project may be initiated with a new competitive PON requiring a system demonstrator (minimum TRL 6, MRL 6) bid sample and proposal. The combined evaluation of bid sample test results and proposal may result in the award of up to three independent OTAs. The OTAs may include decision points (e.g. Critical Design Review (CDR), Test Readiness Review (TRR), Product Qualification Test (PQT), and other critical tests) to continue or discontinue the OTA throughout the acquisition cycle. The system integration prototype project may include a full system integration, ensure a producible product that is safe, interoperable, affordable and sustainable through modeling, simulation, user evaluation and testing with a goal of delivering production representative systems achieving a TRL 8 and MRL 8. OTA deliverables may include 350+ weapons with fire control and other enablers, over 1,500,000 rounds of ammunition, spares, special tools, and manuals. Successful completion of the system integration prototype project may qualify Awardees for continuation into a follow-on production and deployment (P&D) effort without further competition.

Although the government states that a vendor need not participate in this go around to bid on the next, past experience has show that participants in the initial effort glean a great of feedback, giving them an obvious advantage.

After that, the government may pursue a Future Follow-On P&D Effort(s), awarding up to two independent follow-on production OTAs or up to two independent Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) based contracts with a period of performance up to ten years. The P&D effort may include low rate initial production, operational test and evaluation, full rate production, fielding, and sustainment capability. Deliverables may include over 15,000 weapons with fire control and other enablers, over 30,000,000 rounds of ammunition with planned transition to Government run production (pending intellectual property if required), spares, special tool, manuals, and depot support.

Industry Challenges
Teams must be formed which include Weapon, Ammunition, and Electronics manufacturers. Due to the fast pace of this program, if they aren’t already working together on a strategy, they, and the government will miss out. Additionally, as I’ve critiqued in the past, the insistence on classifying program data has served as a bar to entry for many potential solution providers who cannot access program data.

To participate, offerors must meet at least one of the following conditions:
(A) There is at least one nontraditional defense contractor or nonprofit research institution participating to a significant extent in the prototype project.
(B) All significant participants in the transaction other than the Federal Government are small businesses or nontraditional defense contractors.
(C) At least one third of the total cost of the prototype project is to be paid out of funds provided by sources other than other than the Federal Government.

That means, all of the large, traditional defense contractors who were anticipate will be paying quite a bit out-of-pocket to participate.

NSGAR prototype candidates should be 35” overall length including a suppressor which must offer 140 dB performance. NSGAR will feature Safe, Semi-Automatic and Automatic modes, with 400m dispersion.

Although the desired rate of fire is 60 rpm, this initial go around is to define trade space. That rate of fire is going to be a challenge with a box fed weapon, although rumor has it the government prefers a magazine over beltfed.


The ammunition must be “20% less than an equal brass case weight volume of the entire cartridge.”

Fire Control
Fire control is a critical component of this program. It’s inclusion alone will keep many firearms manufacturers from participating due to the costs and unique technical expertise required to produce these components. Likewise, Electronics manufacturers will lack the know how to produce firearms.

The system demonstrator is encouraged to include additional capabilities such as: advanced fire control (direct view optic with variable magnification, laser range finder, ballistic calculator, environmental data, disturbed reticle, etc.), powered/intelligent rail (including data transfer), ammunition capacity (belt or box fed), and other enablers which enhance military utility.

Offerors have until April 9th to make their submission. PON proposals will be evaluated on Concept, Feasibility and Price with all three
having equal weight.

Read all of the details here.


Some of this information is derived from the NSGAR Industry Comments.

Gentex Corporation Awarded Helmet Services and Support Contract for Bristow Helicopters U.K. SAR Bases

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Carbondale, PA, March 7, 2018.  Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defense forces, emergency responders, and industrial personnel announced today it has been awarded a three-year contract from Bristow Helicopters Ltd (U.K.) to manage and perform maintenance on their U.K. inventory of Gentex’s ALPHA 900 Cross Platform Helmet Systems. Bristow provides Search and Rescue (SAR) services to the private sector worldwide, and to the public sector for all of the U.K. on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Under the terms of the contact, Gentex will have responsibility for the airworthiness of the Bristow inventory of aircrew helmets, which are exclusively ALPHA 900 Helmets. Support was customized to meet the Bristow SAR specific needs and includes technical services (helmet fitting, records management, and training) and sustainment support (preventative maintenance; repair, and spares inventory management).

“In addition to supplying Bristow SAR crews with our advanced ALPHA 900 Helmet Systems, we’re proud to now support them with technical services and sustainment support through our European operations,” said Robert McCay, vice president aircrew and aircraft maintainer systems, Gentex Corporation.

With customizable, on-site support, customers can be assured of responsive, flexible, quality service, and continuity of their supply. Additionally, this approach allows customers to maximise their inventory’s performance, while reducing overall stock holdings; reduce their cost of ownership with a fully integrated supply chain (one-stop-shop); and improve capabilities through Ad-Hoc tasking.

“Our SAR operations have relied on the consistent, high performance of Gentex’s ALPHA 900 Helmets for over 4 years,” said Russ Torbet, Director of U.K. SAR, Bristow Helicopters Ltd. “Now, with the addition of the complete helmet management and service support provision, we expect to be able to better meet and maintain our operational needs, while reducing our costs, and enhancing the safety of our SAR crews, operating in the most demanding environments.”

Technical services and sustainment support is available for all of Gentex’s brands, directly or through their authorized global distributors.

Gentex’s advanced, scalable, and highly configurable ALPHA 900 military helmet systems line includes the new ALPHA 900 Search and Rescue (SAR) Helmet System which was developed in partnership with Bristow. Adopted by the U.K. MoD, ALPHA 900 is the only aircrew helmet platform that supports both fixed and rotary wing applications, reducing the logistics trail for those responsible for supporting both helmet platforms.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security Awards Federal Premium Ammunition a .40 HST Ammunition Contract

Monday, March 5th, 2018

ANOKA, Minnesota – March 2, 2018 – U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently awarded Federal Premium a major ammunition contract. Starting delivery in 2018, the contract provides for up to 180 million rounds of .40 caliber Tactical HST duty ammunition to multiple Department of Homeland Security law enforcement components and other federal agencies for up to five (5) years. This contract will provide the organization’s agents and officers with .40 caliber duty and training ammunition.

This contract will provide the organization’s agents and officers with the legendary performance that has made HST a dependable and popular choice with law enforcement worldwide for two decades.

“Law enforcement and federal agencies put it all on the line for our safety and freedoms. They should expect nothing less from their ammunition,” said Mike Holm, Product Director at Federal Premium. “Federal Premium provides the top-quality products they need to have full confidence in any situation. HST has a long history of providing trusted performance time and time again for our nation’s law enforcement.”

HST’s expanded diameter and weight retention produce the desired penetration without over-penetrating. Its bullet nose profile, nickel-plated case, Federal primer, and clean-burning, low-flash propellants provide the ultimate in function and reliability in semi-automatic handguns.

U.S. Army Awards 3M Additional $34 Million for Helmets of the Future

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

3M-designed Integrated Head Protection System is Army’s most advanced ballistic helmet to date


ST. PAUL, Minn. – March 1, 2018 – The U.S. Army has awarded Ceradyne, Inc., a 3M company, an additional $34 million to continue supplying its ballistic helmet of the future. The Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) – which Popular Mechanics described as “straight out of science fiction” – uses advanced materials, an ultramodern design and add-on accessories to give soldiers greater comfort and advanced protection for modern missions. This brings Ceradyne’s total IHPS contract value to more than $52 million.

The U.S. Army created the highly technical IHPS to give soldiers a lighter-weight ballistic helmet with passive hearing protection and increased blunt-impact performance. It is a component of the Army’s next-generation Soldier Protection System (SPS) program, which seeks to optimize soldier protection while reducing total equipment weight.

“This order reinforces the Army’s confidence in 3M to design and produce the IHPS, which is so advanced, it sets a new global standard for head protection,” said Cheryl Ingstad, global business manager, Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, 3M.

The IHPS is designed to protect against modern battlefield threats, including powerful rifle projectiles and handgun bullets. It can be fitted with accessories, such as mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment, rails and a modular ballistic applique for increased protection. 3M will begin delivery in early 2018 and will continue to deliver throughout the year.

For more information about 3M ballistic helmets, visit www.3M.com/ballistichelmets.

No, The Marines Haven’t Issued A Contract For Additional M27s

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

I keep getting asked if the USMC has let a contract for additional M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles. Apparently, a few weeks ago a gun blog called Guns America reported that the Marine Corps had awarded Heckler & Koch a contract for additional M27s. The problem is, it’s untrue.

The author’s reasoning was that the “protest period” was over and consequently, a contract had been let. Once again, this isn’t true. For some reason, H&K representative Bill Dermody agreed with the interviewer during a video taken during SHOT Show by Guns America, giving further credence to the story.

Last Summer, Marine Corps Systems Command issued a pre-solicitation intent to solicit and negotiate with Heckler & Koch (H&K), for up to 50,814 M27 Infantry Automatice Rifles (IAR)Since then, they’ve publicly said and done nothing. There hasn’t been a “protest period” because there hasn’t been a contract award issued by the Marines.

Unfortunately, other websites who didn’t know what they were talking about, picked up the story and shared it.

Sure, the Marine Corps is interested in purchasing additional M27s to outfit their Infantry Forces and H&K would love the business, but the reality is that it hasn’t happened. At least, yet. The Commandant of the Marine Corps has publicly stated his desire to do so and I know the Marines are working toward that end, but they’ve still got some things to work out.

I promise you; as soon as I can tell you it has happened, I will.

Speer Secures Long-Term Ammunition Contract from French National Police

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Latest Round of International Contract Highlights Speer’s Commitment to Excellence

LEWISTON, Idaho – February 14, 2017 – The French National Police recently awarded Speer with a long-term contract for its 124-grain, 9mm Luger Gold Dot Duty ammunition. This contract reflects the company’s industry-leading technologies and longstanding commitment to excellence.

“The French National Police are one of the world’s finest law enforcement agencies. We’re proud to provide Speer Gold Dot for their duty ammunition needs,” said Jason Nash, Senior Director of Marketing, “and are honored they selected us for this important contract.”

Gold Dot was the first handgun ammunition loaded with true, bonded-core bullets. Speer’s exclusive Uni-Cor construction process bonds the jacket to the alloyed lead core one atom at a time. This process virtually eliminates core-jacket separation while guaranteeing uniform jacket thickness for superior accuracy.

Each Gold Dot hollow-point cavity is tuned by caliber and bullet weight to ensure optimum expansion and penetration. Additional Gold Dot features include ultra-reliable CCI primers, plus high-powered, clean-burning propellants and nickel-plated brass cases for smooth function and extreme durability.

Headquartered in Lewiston, Idaho, Speer has a long-standing reputation for making the world’s finest bullets and in 1996 became one of the first U.S. ammunition manufacturers to achieve ISO 9001 certification for quality. The company manufactures a variety of bullets and cartridges for law enforcement, reloading and sporting applications.


Speer is a brand of Vista Outdoor Inc., an outdoor sports and recreation company. For more information on Speer, go to www.speer-ammo.com.

Modular Handgun System – Things Aren’t As Bad As The DOT&E Report Implies

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

A recently issued report from the Department Of Defense’s Director, Operational Test and Evaluation Office (DOT&E), on the Modular Handgun System has been picked up by bloggers and the headlines have been sensational. They’re being shared online at face value, with few people taking time to read the source document. You can read the whole thing here, and I encourage you to do so, but I’ll use extracts throughout this article.


I’ve spent the past few days going back and forth with DOT&E and PEO Soldier, who manages the program, to clarify information in the report.

From the received responses, apparently the situation is not as dire as the authors of other stories would like their audience to believe.


Each year, the Department Of Defense Operational Test and Evaluation Office (DOT&E) submits an annual report of test and evaluation activities to Congress.

The 2017 report was published on 26 January, 2018 and includes details on numerous test activities in support of Army procurement, including those of the joint Modular Handgun System. MHS consists of militarized versions of a standard (M17) and compact (M18) pistol, manufactured by SIG SAUER and based on their commercial P320 9mm model. the weapon has a common trigger pack and swappable frames to make the switch from M17 to M18.


The weapon was selected for procurement just a year ago on January 19, 2017. Since then, it has served as a model for fast track acquisition reform.

The procurement announcement was met with displeasure from fans of fellow contender GLOCK who pointed to G19 use by USSOCOM as ample reason to broaden its issues within DoD. The SIG contract award was formally protested by GLOCK, but their effort was not sustained by the Government Accountability Office.

Drop Misfires Background

In August of last year, a blogger demonstrated that the commercially available SIG P320, which the MHS is derived from, would unintentionally discharge if dropped at a certain angle. Almost immediately, the internet began to call into question the safety of the Army’s version of the handgun. SIG analyzed the problem and quickly issued an interesting fix for their commercial gun; a new trigger pack based on the MHS trigger. SIG stated that the Army’s handgun already had a different, lighter trigger than the civilian model and had not demonstrated the same issue. SIG offered a voluntary upgrade to the new trigger for P320 users.

In November, I attended a media round table hosted by PEO Soldier to provide an update on fielding of MHS. One of the topics was unintentional misfires caused by dropping. LTC Steven Power, Product Manager Individual Weapons, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, assured everyone that MHS has not experienced such a failure.

Naturally, when I ran across this statement in the DOT&E report, I wanted clarification, because it went against everything I’d been told.

“During drop testing in which an empty primed cartridge was inserted, the striker struck the primer causing a discharge. SIG SAUER implemented an Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) to correct this deficiency by implementing lightweight components in the trigger group mechanism. This fix may have contributed to the splintering of two triggers during the IOT&E”

DOT&E Report

DoD Drop Testing

Before I get into what I learned about this statement I need to explain how DoD conducts drop testing. The procedure is contained in 4-10 of Test Operations Procedure 03-2-504A “Safety Evaluation of Small Arms and Medium Caliber Weapons” . The actual test is called the 1.5 m (5 foot) drop test which requires that a firearm loaded with a primed, empty, cartridge case be dropped from the height of 1.5 m unto a clean, dry, and level concrete surface at six different angles. The goal is to see if the firearm discharges or if the drop affects the function of the weapon.


SIG SAUER’s Position

Since I had discussed the drop misfire issue with SIG in the past, I thought I should check with them. They responded by telling me that it was DoD’s report and they’d be the best place to seek out my answers.

Requesting Clarification From DOT&E

Initially, I contacted DOT&E with a list of technical questions. In particular, I wanted to know when and how they identified this malfunction. After some deliberation, DOT&E spokesperson, LTC Michelle L Baldanza offered this statement regarding the technical questions I had posed, “I will have to let the report stand for itself. You are welcome to contact the Army about this.”

What she was telling me was that the information had originated with the Army and all they had done, was collate it into their report. I’d need to go to PEO Soldier for the answers I was seeking.

PEO Soldier Responds

I approached PEO Soldier about this statement, asking how and when it had occurred. They did not provide details on any test failures but rather provided the statement below, which seems to refute the DOT&E report.

When tested in accordance with the TOP 03-2-504A, the weapon passed in all drop orientations.

PEO Soldier

Even then, despite several requests, they refused to provide a date when the 1.5 m TOP drop test protocol was accomplished. It should have initially been accomplished during source selection, while the Army evaluated the vendors’ candidate pistols and I was able to verify this information from other Army sources who were not authorized to speak publicly about the topic.

Splintered Triggers

The DOT&E report mentioned two “splintered” triggers. Of course, this became a central theme to call the program into question. I asked about the issue. The triggers still worked. PEO Soldier related that they “did not remain smooth and comfortable to fire,” saying it was an isolated issue, and not the result of a design flaw or on-going manufacturing problem. To put it into perspective, they’ve only encountered this issue in two pistols, out of approximately 10,000 purchased to date. It’s so rare, it shouldn’t have found its way into a report intended to discuss major issues.


Ammunition / Reliability Issues

MHS includes four 9mm cartridges, manufactured by Winchester, but there are two primary rounds. The XM1153 Jacketed Hollow Point (referenced above) also referred to as a “special purpose”‘and the XM1152 Ball.

Additionally, there are two reliability factors, Mean Rounds Between Failure and Mean Rounds Between Stoppage. Both MRBF and MRBS were measured during Product Verification Testing as well as Initial Operational Test & Evaluation.

MHS was tested for MRBF and MRBS in both M17 and M18 configurations with JHP as well as Ball ammunition.

According to the DOT&E report, the MRBF reliability requirement for MHS is 5,000 MRBF for a 98 percent probability of completing a 96-hour mission without a failure. The MRBS reliability requirement is 2,000 MRBS for a 95 percent probability of completing a 96-hour mission without a stoppage.

During PVT which is an early test, the XM17 and XM18, with special purpose munition, met its requirement for both MRBF and MRBS:

– The XM17 demonstrated 8,929 MRBF (99 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 8,333 MRBF (99 percent probability)
– The XM17 demonstrated 1,923 MRBS (95 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 2,155 MRBS (96 percent probability)

During PVT, the XM17 with ball ammunition met its requirement for MRBF but not its requirement for MRBS. The XM18 with ball ammunition did not meet its MRBF or MRBS requirement.

– The XM17 demonstrated 6,944 MRBF (99 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 3,906 MRBF (98 percent probability)
– The XM17 demonstrated 343 MRBS (75 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 197 MRBS (61 percent probability)

Obviously, there’s a difference in how reliable the weapon is, based on the ammo used, and pistol configuration. Consequently, the Army decided to investigate the Ball ammo issues and moved to the next phase of testing solely with the JHP cartridge, which they consider is their “go-to-war” ammunition.

During IOT&E, 60 of 120 stoppages for the XM17 and 63 of 85 stoppages for the XM18 were failure of the slide lock to the rear at the last round. At least some of these stoppages were the result of poor grip. Additionally, 60% of these stoppages (75 of 123) were experienced by just eight shooters out of the 132 who participated in the IOT&E. Based on information from the Army Marksmanship Unit which is cited in the DOT&E report, it appears that the majority of those stoppages were caused by shooters disengaging the slide catch with their thumbs.

Once the Army understood it’s a software and not a hardware problem, they began to modify Marksmanship Training to ensure that Soldiers do not unintentionally engage the slide catch lever when firing the MHS. It’s a simpler solution than redesigning weapon parts.

In fact, the MRBS demonstrated during IOT&E is significantly increased if this stoppage is eliminated:

– The XM17 demonstrated 708 MRBS (87 percent probability).
– The XM18 demonstrated 950 MRBS (90 percent probability).

The weapon is capable of meeting the standard, given the right shooters.

Although they have a Conditional Material Release for both types of ammo and have been firing them since November, PEO reminded me that MHS meets, or exceeds, all operational requirements, including MRBS, with the XM1153 jacketed hollow point ammunition for which it is optimized.

While I take issue with how some things are presented, overall, the Army agrees with the findings in the report.

“The DOT&E report accurately conveys the test results.  It is normal and expected during testing to find opportunities to improve a system.  The testing determined that the MHS had a lower Mean Rounds Between Stoppage (MRBS) with ball ammunition than it has with the “go-to-war” jacketed hollow point round for which the system is optimized.  In July 2017, the Army formed a Tiger Team to perform a detailed root cause analysis of the ball ammunition issues.   Their analysis has resulted in a number of modifications expected to enhance MHS performance and reliability with ball ammunition.”

PEO Soldier

Much has been made on other websites about the pistol’s performance with the XM1152 Ball ammunition. Which, by the way, is a new cartridge, unique to this weapon. The truth is, it is safe to operate with both.

However, this isn’t good enough for the Army as they continue to consider performance improvements. PEO Soldier spokeswoman Ms Dawson explained, “It is simply not meeting its reliability requirements with the ball ammunition and has experienced stoppages and issues with “double ejections”.  Double ejections? I’m intrigued.

Double Ejections

Aside from the drop testing issue, I had hoped to get to the heart of “double ejections”. It’s referenced early in the DOT&E report.

“Both the XM17 and XM18 pistols experienced double-ejections where an unspent ball round was ejected along with a spent round.”

DOT&E Report

Until this week, I’d never heard the term used. PEO Soldier echoed the DOT&E definition.

“A double ejection is when a live unfired round is ejected along with the casing from the round that was just fired.”

PEO Soldier

Semi-Auto pistol’s don’t work that way, it’s a physical impossibility. So, I asked both DOT&E and PEO Soldier to further describe the malfunction in case it has a more commonly used name. Neither organization would. And yet, they’ve used it; over and over. PEO Soldier even set up a Tiger Team to get to the root cause of it. Reporters have parroted it as it were a common term. I even approached several individuals with extensive experience in Army pistol marksmanship and they were also unfamiliar with the term. Since nobody knows what it is, I’m not sure how they’re going to fix it. But whatever it is, the weapon is performing while using the JHP ammo.

In Summary

What we’ve learned:
-MHS is safe and passes drop standards
-MHS is reliable
-The trigger works
-Stoppages can be mitigated with training
-It introduces a jacketed hollow point ammunition capability
-The Army is working to improve its performance with Ball ammunition
-No one knows what a “double ejection” is except PEO Soldier, and they’re not telling

But this is the most important at part of this whole story. The Army is very confidant in MHS. In fact, PEO Soldier spokeswoman, Ms Debi Dawson released this statement:

Testing was conducted with warfighters from all Services, and their feedback about the MHS has been overwhelmingly positive.  The MHS meets, or exceeds, all safety and operational requirements with XM1153 jacketed hollow point ammunition for which it is optimized. The test results published in the Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation (DOT&E) report are being used to make the MHS even better.

PEO Soldier

Unfortunately, there are some pieces of data in the report which seem to be given greater importance than they should be, once put into perspective. In another case, testing which is claimed to have taken place hasn’t been accounted for, and refuted in other statements.

Greater care should be taken when providing input to these annual reports. They are used by Congress to monitor key programs. Additionally, the data has been used to undermine confidence in a program that is doing very well, as new unit after new unit is equipped with this improved capability.


There’s a reason DoD tests. Every program finds unanticipated issues which must be fixed in order to field the piece of equipment across the force. Some come up years after a system enters service. If you read through the entire 2017 DOT&E Annual Report, you’ll find issues of every type, arising for every program showcased in the document. While much has been made online about MHS, when you break it down, it’s not as bad as it’s been made out to be, if you know what questions to ask.