The Army has awarded contracts to ten companies to submit submachine guns for the service to evaluate. The service has not purchased a new submachine gun for more than seventy years, and is reportedly considering them for units tasked with protecting senior Army leaders.
The U.S. Army has awarded approximately $200,000 to ten companies for evaluation weapons under the Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) program. The service posted a Request for Information (RFI) in May 2018 for a SCW that will fire 9x19-millimeter (9mm Luger) ammunition, fire full automatic, and have a Picatinny rail for attaching lights and optics. The RFI also mentions the capability to mount a suppressor.
The ten companies awarded contracts are from the U.S. and Europe. Famous U.S. gunmaker Colt is the first on the list, with what is described as the Colt Modular 9mm Sub Compact Weapon. This is probably the . Other companies include the with their CMMG Ultra PDW, the MARS L-9 Compact Suppressed Weapon, the Quarter Circle 10 , the PTR Industries , and the Zenith Firearms Z-5RS, Z-5P and .
European companies are also represented and include Sig Sauer and its , the Beretta , the CZ , and .
Some of the weapons, such as the Colt, CMMG, LMT, and Quarter Circle offerings are likely based on so-called short barrel AR15 “pistols” using the AR15/M16/M4 operating system. Their similarity to the M4 carbine in function could give them a leg up on the competition. Other guns are based on the famous , while still others such as the Sig Sauer MPX, CZ Scorpion, and MP9 are unique designs.
The U.S. Army has not fielded a new submachine gun since World War II. According to , one of the duties of the SCW would be to equip Army Personal Security Details, detachments of armed troops that protect senior army leaders and the headquarters of Army Brigade Combat Teams.