Way back in December, 2012, the US Army released a pre-solicitation for a new Improved Modular Tactical Holster (IMTH) for the M9 pistol. The concept was to look for:
improvements to be made to the current Army Tactical Drop-Leg Configuration Holster System for the Army M9 specification Beretta 92F / 92FS pistol. The improvements sought are increased modularity including a drop-leg configuration, that can be quickly transferred to a hip configuration, as well as the capability to be worn/attached to current Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE), load carriage equipment such as rucksacks and the Tactical Assault Panel (TAP) or on individual body armor such as the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) or the Solder Plate Carrier System (SPCS).
Just over a year later, on December 19th, 2013, Natick announced the winners. Interestingly, the Army split the award between ADS Inc ($24,288,000.00) and Military Hardware, LLC ($49,000,000.00).
As we understand it, ADS bid a Serpa system from Blackhawk, probably similar to what they successfully won the Marine Corps contract with. To be sure, the Serpa is popular and has been adopted by militarized all around the world.
Military Hardware on the other hand, offered a G-Code system that we have covered here on SSD in the past.
The Military Hardware/G-Code holster consists of the XST holster along with Duty Drop Leg, H-MAR adapter for vests and MOLLE belt mount. The Kydex XST features an two forms of retention; the Over the Top, Power Assisted, Retention Canopy as well as their Adjustable Pro-Safe Tensioning. It is also outfitted with G-Code’s RTI (Rapid Transition Interface) which allows the user to securely move their holster from mount to another.
According the the pre-solicitation the overall 5-year IDIQ contract would not exceed $49 Million and consist of 225,000 holsters. Considering the ceiling on the Military Hardware award meets this, we are unsure how the Army plans to leverage this contract vehicle. Doubly so as they bid entirely different systems from different manufacturers, featuring different retention mechanisms. However, based on the two award amounts, it looks as if the Army expects to purchase twice as many G-Codes as Serpas.
On a final note, earlier this year, US Air Force Security Forces opted out of using the Serpa and mandated the Safariland 6004/6005. Likewise, the 75th Ranger Regt as well as other SOF organizations also issue the Safariland holster.