QUANTICO, Virginia -- Beretta Defense Technologies showed off a production model of its PMX submachine gun for the first time in the U.S. this week at Modern Day Marine 2019.
"It's a redesign of Beretta's iconic PM12 which was ... designed after World War II," Gabriele de Plano, vice president for marketing and operations at Beretta Defense Technologies, told Military.com.
Unlike the PM12, which was "made out of sheet metal stampings and a lot of steel," the PMX is designed with lightweight alloy and polymer "to bring it up to current modern standards," de Plano said.
The 9mm PMX has been shown around Europe since late 2017, "but it's the first time here in the United States," de Plano said.
"In Europe and other parts of the world, the submachine gun is still much more relevant; in Italy, for example, it is used by the Carabinieri ... as a personal defense weapon," de Plano said, referring to the Italian military police force. "It's something that they can always carry with them and gives them a little bit more capability than a pistol can do."
The PMX feeds from 30-round magazines and features a folding stock, rails for mounting accessories and fire controls that can be moved to either side of the weapon based on shooter's preference.
It weighs 5.3 pounds unloaded, and measures about 25 inches with the stock extended, and 16.5 inches with the stock folded.
It can operate on semi-automatic and fully automatic settings.
"The rate of fire on this gun is approximately 900 rounds per minute," de Plano said. "It's very controllable though, very low muzzle rise, even in full-auto."
Beretta has joined a team led by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Inc. that was recently selected by the U.S. Army to participate in the next round of testing on the Next Generation Squad Weapon. The NGSW is expected to replace the M4A1 carbine and M249 squad automatic weapon in close-combat units with rifle and automatic rifle variants chambered in a special 6.8mm round.
For more than three decades, Beretta made U.S. military's 9mm M9 pistol, which is now being gradually replaced by the U.S. Army's Modular Handgun System, made by Sig Sauer.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.