What Is SIG and the Army Up To?
Hot on the cancellation of the Army subcompact weapon competition we are seeing an odd order from SIG. SIG is already supplying the new XM17/18 to every branch of the military, and hopefully the Space Force. They were, of course, a competitor in the short-lived SMG contest, and are providing the optic for the Army’s new DMR. I initially predicted the Sig Sauer MPX would win the SMG contest, and perhaps, unofficially, they did.
The US Army, specifically the Armament Research, Development, and Engineering center, aka ARDEC, placed the order. ARDEC does lots of R&D so small orders of weapons makes sense, and the request for most of the guns is quite tiny. ARDEC has placed an order for the following weapons.
MCX 9 inch barrel – up to 100 units
MCX 11.5 inch barrel – up to 100 Units
716G2 Rifles – up to 500 units
MPX 4.5 inch barrel – up to 1000 units
MPX 8 inch barrel – up to 1000 units
SRD9 Silencer – up to 100 units
These are rather small orders, the MPX riding the line with 2,000 total guns possibly being ordered. All 2,000 of the MPX submachine guns could be some kind of backdoor sub-compact weapons program deal. If ARDEC is testing the firearms it could to establish standards for another sub-compact program. ARDEC also serves as the R&D branch for the Army’s Special Operations Command and their weaponry is a bit different than big Army’s.
Could this be a test between small rifles and sub-machine guns for a future sub-compact weapons program? A bit of an MCX versus the MPX to see and test the performance between small firearms? It’s all speculation, but its certainly within the realm of possibility.
Regardless of why the limited quantities of weapons make sense for ARDEC to order, even if its just to experiment with on a limited run. The real standout involved the SP2022 pistols being ordered. The order was for 5,000 SP2022 pistols with three magazines and standard sights.
Why would the Special Operations community have 5,000 units worth of interest in one? The SP2022 is an excellent little polymer frame gun by all accounts, but it’s like the Great Value brand version of the SIG P series. It’s affordable, reliable, but it’s not P226.
What exactly are these guns for? The SP2022 is the gun that got the German branch of SIG is some hot water over a deal with Columbian police forces. Could this be a foreign military sale deal? Is going through the Army a safer bet for SIG to hedge. The SP2022 is produced in Germany and not the United States. German’s export laws can make doing business with clients in questionable areas.
The SRD9 silencers are also an exciting addition, and the low quantity is likely for experimentation purposes. Suppressors may be primed to become a more common item in the military, but again that is only speculation. We’ll have to sit back and see what the Army is planning to do with all their new SIG products. Until then watch space, and we’ll report in as we learn more.
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