|Special Operations Handgun
The Offensive Handgun Weapon
In August 1991, Heckler &
Koch, Inc. and Colt's Manufacturing Company were awarded
contracts with the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for
the development of an Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS).
USSOCOM directs the activities of
some of America's most elite military units, including the Navy
SEALs, Air Force Special Operations Wing, and the Army Green
Berets, Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation.
The "OHWS" consists of
three components: a .45 caliber pistol, a laser aiming module
(LAM), and a sound and flash suppressor. The program is divided
into three phases, with development and testing during Phases I
& II and production during Phase II. At the end of Phase I
testing, USSOCOM was to select one of the two candidates for
continued development in Phase II.
In August 1992, both companies
delivered 30 prototype systems to the US Navy for extensive
testing and evaluation. Testing was completed in March 1993 and
both companies submitted final technical and cost proposals for
Phases II & III in October 1993. In January 1994, the HK
system was selected and a Phase II contract was awarded. A
letter contract for Phase III production was also awarded at
that time, to be finalized during Phase II.
During Phase I, Heckler &
Koch GrnbH of Oberndorf, Germany developed the pistol and
suppressor components and Insight Technology Inc. (ITI) of
Londonderry, NH developed the LAM, a combination flashlight and
visible and invisible laser sight.
During Phase II, HK GrnbH
continued the development of the pistol and Knight's Armament
Company of Vero Beach, FL, a world leader in suppressor
technology, joined the project to design and develop the
suppressor component. The LAM component development was not
continued in Phase II but will be separately developed and
produced during Phase III.
In November 1994, 30
pre-production pistols and suppressors were delivered to the
Navy for final developmental and operational testing. Testing is
expected to be complete in April 1995 and a Phase III production
contract is scheduled to be exercised not later than July 1995.
The Special Operations Forces (SOF) Offensive Handgun (as it is
now termed) will meet some of the most stringent operational
requirements ever demanded of a combat handgun - with match
grade accuracy (2.5 inch maximum extreme spread in a 5-round
shot group at 25 meters) in all operational environments and
endurance and reliability providing a service life of over
30,000 rounds of +P ammunition.
- PLEASE READ
|This page is an
unofficial document and does not represent information
endorsed by the United States Government, the United
States Special Operations Command or the United States
Army Special Operations Command. However, most
information is derived from those sources and has been
checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and
suggestions, please go to the Communications
Gunnery Network - SOF