LONDON — Troops in Afghanistan will be among the first in the British military to receive new 9 mm semi-automatic pistols purchased in a deal between the Ministry of Defence and Austrian small-arms producer Glock.
The MoD announced Jan. 11 that it has awarded Glock a 9-million-pound contract to supply more than 25,000 Glock 17 Gen 4 pistols.
The deal was signed in late 2012, and a first batch of around 2,000 weapons already has been delivered, the MoD said in a statement. British forces in Afghanistan were among the first to receive the weapon, the statement said.
The Glock 17 replaces the Browning L9A1, which British forces have used for nearly 50 years.
The MoD said the Glock 17 offered more accuracy, more rounds carried in the magazine and was lighter overall. Glock already supplies British police with side arms.
Some British units in Afghanistan have been using the SIG Sauer P226 pistol, purchased earlier as an urgent operational requirement.
A MoD spokeswoman said the German-based company’s weapon will not be withdrawn from service.
SIG was one of five shortlisted pistols tried out by the British in the latest deal. The Browning was not among the shortlisted weapons.