The Sig Sauer M18 handgun will replace the M9 pistol that has been in service since 1985.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office purchased some 125,000 M18s from Sig Sauer for $22.1 million, and delivery is slated to be complete by August 2022.
The polymer M18s are lighter, cheaper, and more repairable than the all-metal M9s, said Merrill Adkison, Small Arms Program Office senior logistics manager, in an AFLCMC press release.
Finding replacement parts for the older pistols has become increasingly difficult, Adkison said. It will be easier to find parts to fix M18s, and the new weapons have adjustable grips for Airmen with large or small hands.
Buying an M18 is about one-third the cost of buying an M9 today.
The purchase also includes test ammunition and engineering services.