UK & World News
Glock 17 Pistol Issued To Armed Forces
The Ministry of Defence has signed a £9m contract to provide the Armed Forces with more than 25,000 of the new Glock 17 Gen 4 pistols.
They replace the Browning which has been used for more than 40 years but is said to have become increasingly expensive to maintain.
Soldiers in Afghanistan will be among the first to use the new Glock pistols.
The new sidearm is lighter than its predecessor, as well as more accurate and capable of carrying more bullets.
It has a magazine capacity of 17 9mm rounds, compared to 13 for the Browning.
Members of all three services will start receiving the Glock 17s in the coming weeks.
The contract to supply them, with Viking Arms Ltd of Harrogate, Yorkshire, also includes more than 25,000 holsters.
The MoD said the contract for a replacement pistol was put out to tender two years ago and is not in response to any specific or increased threat.
Warrant Officer 1 Mark Anderson, Royal Marines, from Exeter in Devon, trialled the new weapon before the contract was awarded.
He said the Glock was "reliable, light and easy to carry ... inspires confidence and performs exceptionally well".
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: "We are determined to provide our troops with the best possible personal kit available and these new Glock 17s will give them greater firepower and accuracy on operations.
"Now that we have balanced the budget we can invest with confidence in the equipment our Armed Forces need for the future.
"I have seen this pistol demonstrated in target ranges and am impressed that his new lighter, safer generation of pistol provides both better value for money for the MoD and will complement the wide range of weapons already available to front line troops."
The Glock pistol, which is made in Austria, will be used alongside a range of existing weapons including SA80A2 assault rifles, light machine guns and sharpshooter rifles.