New pistols for the Canadian military — defence industry told to expect request for bids shortly

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Defence industry representatives say they are expecting in the next several days the federal government will issue a request for bids for new pistols for the Canadian military.

The new handguns will replace the Second World War-era Browning Hi-Power pistols.

Industry representatives have been told the request for proposals should be issued by Friday.

A contract is expected to be awarded by September with initial deliveries beginning in the summer of 2022, Department of National Defence spokesperson Jessica Lamirande previously told this newspaper.

The military was originally going to make an initial purchase of 9,000 pistols for the Canadian Army. But that number has increased to 16,500 as handguns will also be bought for the Royal Canadian Air Force and military police, Lamirande noted.

The firearms will be modular, meaning they can be reconfigured for various roles. Attachments such as improved targeting systems can also be installed on the guns.

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“The procurement will also include options to support future requirements of additional modular pistols, but the precise number has not yet been confirmed as it will depend on requirements,” Lamirande explained. “The total procurement is expected to be up to 20,000 modular pistols.”

The cost to taxpayers has not been made available by the DND.

But in a closed door session in 2016 industry representatives were told by military and DND procurement officials that the purchase of 15,000 to 25,000 handguns would cost $50 million, according to documents obtained by this newspaper. That price-tag included spare parts.

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