Winchester, the largest manufactures of small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. military, has been awarded with cost-plus and firm-fixed-price contracts from the United States Army. Under terms of the agreements the company will perform ammunition development, as well as analyze manufacturing facility requirements and plan production capacity for the military’s 6.8 mm Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) program.
Work will be performed at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) in Independence, Mo. It is the United States’ only government-owned, contractor-operated small-caliber ammunition production facility. The contracts were awarded under Winchester’s $8 billion contract to operate LCAAP.
“Winchester is honored to have been selected by the U.S. Army to execute NGSW program activities at Lake City,” said Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester Ammunition. “The NGSW program represents our military’s significant investment in the future U.S. Warfighter, and the work being performed under these contracts is the genesis for generations of NGSW programs to come.”
The U.S. government established LCAAP in 1940 to meet heavy demand for ammunition during World War II. By 1941 Remington was managing the facility and production was underway, but in 1985 Olin Corporation took over supervision. In 2001 Alliant Technosystems claimed the helm, but Winchester—now in its 156th year of operation and 92nd under the Olin corporate umbrella—is again managing operations at the strategically critical plant. Roughly 2,000 staff members work there and produce more than two billion cartridges, including 5.56 mm NATO, 7.62 mm NATO and .50 BMG each year.
In December Winchester was also awarded a $13 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop manufacturing processes for 7.62 NATO cartridges at the same 3,935-acre LCAAP facility. The plant also serves as the military’s national test center for ammunition performance and weapons testing.