Military plan to replace WWII pistols suspended over complaint


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Plans to replace the Canadian Army’s WWII pistols are on hold after a company representing one of the gun manufacturers complained that the competition was designed to foster its competitors.

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Federal government officials were due to receive offers on August 3 for new pistols to replace the Army’s Browning Hi-Power handguns, which are worn by Air Force pilots as they fly. in war zones. The plan was to award a contract for a new weapon by December and to start delivering the first weapons to the troops in the summer of 2022.

But that process was halted after Rampart International of Ottawa, the firm that represents handgun maker Glock in the Canadian market, filed a complaint with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. Rampart alleges that the government-led competition favors Glock’s rivals, Beretta and Sig Sauer.

Therefore, the CITT called on the federal government to suspend the award of any contract.

Public Services and Procurement Canada spokesperson Jeremy Link said the department “has full confidence in the thoroughness, fairness and results of its competitive procurement processes.”

“PSPC and DND will respond to the CITT process in accordance with normal practice,” he noted. “The impact is still being assessed.”

PSPC has informed companies wishing to bid on the gun replacement project that they now have until October 1 to submit their proposals. This will give the government time to find a response to the CITT’s complaint.

The Canadian Army has described what it needs in a new firearm. But Rampart argues that some of these requirements are unnecessary.

The complaint alleged that the Canadian Forces tender required “certain types of design which do not meet any legitimate operational requirement and favor certain bidders”.

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The pistol program is considered a priority by the Canadian Army as the number of functioning Browning Hi-Power handguns has declined dramatically due to a lack of spare parts.

The new guns will be modular, which means they can be reconfigured for different roles. The other requirements include various security functions.

The acquisition plan had stalled for years after small arms companies in 2011 rejected the federal government’s requirement that the new guns be built at Colt Canada in Kitchener, Ont. Additionally, the companies balked at the stipulation that they had to pass their proprietary gun information to Colt, a company some saw as a competitor.

But these requirements were eventually put aside and the military focused on developing new criteria with soldiers’ operational needs as the top priority.

The plan was to purchase a minimum of 8,000 pistols with options of up to 16,500 for the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy. “The potential value of a contract could reach $ 18 million, if options are exercised,” National Defense spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said earlier this year. “However, the actual value will not be known until contract award.”

In one of his documents to the CITT, Rampart noted that Glock pistols were purchased by defense forces in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands and Australia, among others. country. Glock pistols are also widely used by police forces in North America.

But Glock lost to Sig Sauer in January 2017 for a top US military pistol deal. Sig Sauer now supplies the United States with some 420,000 handguns based on his Sig P320 pistol.

In his complaint, Rampart cited a CBC report in February about a member of JTF2, using a Sig 320, who received a flesh wound in an accident at an Ottawa firing range. .

But the Canadian Forces have since confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the Sig P320 pistol. The crash appears to have been the result of an accidental discharge caused by the member of JTF2, according to defense sources.


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