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London (AFP) Jan 11, 2013
Britain's military is changing its standard-issue pistol to the Austrian-made Glock from the US-built Browning it has used for 40 years, with troops in Afghanistan to get them first, officials said Friday.
The defence ministry said it had awarded the 9-million Pounds ($14-million, 11-million-euro) contract to Glock because the sidearms are lighter, more accurate and can carry more bullets than the Browning.
"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," defence equipment minister Philip Dunne said.
"I have seen this pistol demonstrated in target ranges and am impressed that this 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."
Troops from the British army, the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force would all receive the new weapons in the coming weeks "and troops deployed to Afghanistan will be among the first to use the new weapon," the ministry said.
The Browning "after being used by the armed forces for more than 40 years has become increasingly expensive to maintain," it added.
The 9-millimetre Glocks have an increased magazine capacity of 17 rounds compared to 13 rounds for the current standard issue sidearm, the veteran Browning L9A1, the ministry said.
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