The US Army is set to evaluate 10 off the shelf submachine guns to fill its recently identified Sub Compact Weapon role. Last month (May 2018) the US Army’s PEO Soldier – Project Manager Soldier Weapons issued a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain industry feedback on possible submissions for submachine guns.
The specifications for potential Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) was vague and extremely broad, with the initial SCW RFI reading:
1. Delivery schedule of SCW to include but not limited to functional weapon, magazines, cleaning kits, suppressors, specialized tool kit (if required), spare parts, slings, carrying cases, manuals.
II. Ammunition for SCW – Compatibility with 9×19 mm military grade will be required.
III. Sub Compact Weapon – The SCW will be a full/semi-automatic selectable variant that has a MIL-STD 1913 rail (Picatinny Rail).”
It seems the RFI garnered plenty of interest and the US Army is set to evaluate no less than 10 potential SCWs. The US Army’s Contracting Command intends to award sole source contracts to the following:
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0034
Awardee: Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC for CM9MM-9H-M5A, Colt Modular 9mm Sub Compact Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0037
Awardee: Beretta USA Corporation for Beretta PMX Sub Compact Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0038
Awardee: CMMG, Inc. for CMMG Ultra PDW Sub Compact Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0039
Awardee: CZ-USA for CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 Submachine gun
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0040
Awardee: Lewis Machine & Tool Company for MARS-L9 Compact Suppressed Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0041
Awardee: PTR Industries, Inc. for PTR 9CS Sub Compact Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0042
Awardee: Quarter Circle 10 LLC 5.5 CLT and 5.5 QV5 Sub Compact Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0043
Awardee: SIG SAUER, Inc. for SIG SAUER MPX Sub Compact Weapon
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0044
Awardee: Trident Rifles, LLC for B&T MP9 Machine Guns
Award Number: W15QKN-18-P-0045
Awardee: Zenith Firearms for Z-5RS, Z-5P and Z-5K Sub Compact Weapons
This extremely broad selection ranges from everything from MP5 clones (from PTR and Zenith) to AR15-based guns (from LMT, CMMG, Colt and possibly Quarter Circle 10). It was widely speculated that the SIG Sauer MPX and CZ Scorpion EVO 3 would go head to head for the SCW contract, and both have made the list, alongside the new Beretta PMX and B&T MP9. The single uniting factor of the various weapon systems is that, as the RFI requested, they are all chambered in 9x19mm.
The Army’s Contracting Command’s special notice did, however, offer some more information. Describing the SCW as:
“a highly concealable sub compact weapon system capable of engaging threat personnel with a high volume of lethal and accurate fires at close range with minimal collateral damage. An SCW includes but is not limited to functional weapon, magazines, cleaning kits, suppressors, specialized tool kit (if required), spare parts, slings, carrying cases, manuals.”
We also learn that the SCW is intended for Army Personal Security Details (PSD). PSDs are tasked with the close protection of senior officers and brigade command teams during operations. They essentially provide security and force protection for command staff. As such they are often moving in and out of vehicles and buildings and operating in confined spaces where a compact weapon would be useful.
The notice goes as far as to suggest that “failure to provide the selected SCW for assessment and evaluation will leave PSD military personnel with a capability gap which can result in increased warfighter casualties and jeopardize the success of the U.S. mission.”
The notice explains that the procurement of the SCW is essential to the requirement set out by Product Manager, Individual Weapons mission to assess commercially available off-the-shelf weapons that “fill a capability gap in lethality and concealability.”
As yet there are no details on the number of weapons ordered for evaluation from each of the companies listed and no numbers for how many SCWs might be procured if a larger contract is awarded. TFB has reached out to the Army Contracting Command for comment on the SCW programme and will take a closer look at the 10 SCW candidates selected in an upcoming article.
‘Request for Information for Sub Compact Weapons’, FedBizOps, retrieved 08/05/18 from source
‘Synopsis of Contract Award’, FedBizOps, retrieved 08/06/18 from source