United States Army Launches New Year With Purchase of 25,403 U.S. Made Beretta M9 Pistols

Il distretto armiero bresciano va alla grande.

ACCOKEEK, Md., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Beretta has just announced that ithas been awarded a multi-year contract by the U.S. Army to deliver M9 pistolsto servicemen and women as part of the U.S. Government commitment to ensurethe operational safety and readiness of U.S. Armed Services worldwide. The contract is for 25,403 M9 pistols with deliveries starting in June2008 and continuing until February 2010. The U.S. Army also reserves the rightto purchase additional M9 pistols as needed to meet their needs. All of theseM9 pistols will continue to be manufactured at the Beretta U.S.A. facilitylocated in Accokeek, Maryland.

"Beretta is always honored to assist the U.S. Armed Forces in defendingour country," stated Jeff Reh, Vice-General Manager for Beretta U.S.A. Corp."The Beretta M9 pistol remains the most reliable and well-tested handgun inthe U.S. military inventory, with tests resulting in an average of only onemalfunction every 20,500 rounds fired. U.S. Government witnessed testing atour factory has confirmed this remarkable reliability." Mr. Reh added that,"Beretta U.S.A. Corp. has supplied the Beretta M9 pistol as the standardsidearm for the U.S. Armed Forces since 1985 and continues to make investmentsin manufacturing capability, R&D and product development to serve the needs ofthe U.S. Military and Homeland Defense community. "

"We are proud to be able to provide the U.S. Armed Forces with a reliable,robust sidearm that will perform when needed to defend the lives of ourservicemen and women", said Elio J. Oliva, Vice-President of Sales andMarketing for Law Enforcement and DoD at Beretta U.S.A. Corp. "We understandthat the M9 is not a primary weapon system and that it is often used a weaponof last resort, in close quarters and under demanding conditions. When U.S.servicemen deploy their M9 in theater it needs to work. All 350 employees atBeretta U.S.A. understand the importance of this mission and remain committedto delivering the highest quality products to our Military", said Mr. Oliva.

"Each of our M9 pistols is test fired with proof rounds and tested foraccuracy at 50 meters", said Gabriele de Plano, Vice-President of ProductDevelopment at Beretta U.S.A. Corp. "We have continued to invest significantresources to improve the quality and already impressive performance andreliability of the M9 through the years. We have also developed newaccessories such as high-lubricity sand-resistant magazines to deliverimproved performance in the unique environmental conditions of the Afghan andIraqi theaters", added Mr. de Plano. Each Beretta M9 pistol ships with15-round standard magazines and is designed to accept 20-round magazines.

In 2005, Beretta U.S.A. Corp. received 13 contracts for M9 pistols andcomponent parts from the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. Many of the U.S.Army purchases were multi-year contracts lasting five years, from which over$31 million dollars in purchase orders have since been issued to BerettaU.S.A. Corp.

In addition to the M9, Beretta U.S.A. has developed the M9A1 pistol whichincorporates various enhancements such as integrated Picatinny rail, enhancedgrip checkering and magazine well modifications to allow for quicker tacticalreloads. To date Beretta U.S.A. has supplied over 4,000 M9A1 pistols to theUnited States Marine Corps.

About Beretta Law Enforcement:

In addition to producing the celebrated M-9 pistol, the official sidearmof the five branches of the US Armed Forces, Beretta also outfits lawenforcement and homeland security agencies across the United States.

Through its recently-launched Total Solution(TM) system, Beretta combinesthe strengths and core-competencies of every company within the BerettaHolding Group to provide optimal products and services to the Law Enforcementand Defense community. Beretta's Total Solution(TM) provides a complete arrayof products to suit diverse regional conditions and meet agency objectives andneeds. These include the polymer Storm family of products (Cx4 carbines andPx4 pistols), the Benelli line of shotguns, including the M4 Super 90, adoptedby the United States Marine Corps, the SAKO and Tikka line of sniper rifles,the line of shotguns and pistols offered by Stoeger, and the hi-tech line ofoptics manufactured in the US by Burris. Beretta also operates several armorerand tactical training schools across the United States. For additionalinformation, visit berettaLE.com.

About Beretta:

Beretta established in 1526, is the oldest industrial dynasty in the worldtracing its roots through 16 generations of continuous family ownership.Firearms bearing the Beretta name have been sold for almost 500 years. BerettaUSA Corp. was founded in 1977 and supplies the standard sidearm to the U.S.Armed Forces. Today Beretta manufactures, distributes and markets a completeline of firearms, accessories and apparel. Beretta also owns and operates sixretail Beretta Gallery stores worldwide. For additional information visithttp://www.BerettaUSA.com