Illinois-based ammo maker Olin Winchester won the contract to run the Army owned, but contractor run, facility. The result of various .Gov business rules and agreements allow companies to bid to run the factory, keep it up to date, and produce the majority of ammunition for the U.S. Military. That will now be Winchester.
The Missouri located plant was first established in 1941 and provides small-caliber military ammunition to the military for both training and combat. Winchester previously operated the 4,000-acre facility from 1985-2000 and it is currently run by Northrop. All that LC marked M855, M193, and M80 was run out of this facility.
Olin Winchester’s contract, valued at $28,313,481, was announced Friday by the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Rock Island Arsenal. They take control of the facility next year and could run the plant until Sept. 27, 2029.
“Winchester is honored to have been selected by the Army to operate, maintain and modernize this unique, strategic asset of the U.S. Government’s munitions industrial base,” said Brett Flaugher, President of Winchester, in a statement. “Our team is fully prepared and 100 percent committed to the safe, reliable, and responsible operation of Lake City, in the best interest of and service to the U.S. Military.”
The Lake City plant, which encompasses 408 buildings, 43 magazines, nine warehouses, 11 igloos and a storage capacity of 707,000 sq. ft, also serves as a national and regional test center for ammunition performance and weapons firing.
The question I have is… does this mean the team will win the NGSW contract too? The base of the contract was a new 6.8mm round for the Rifle and Automatic Rifle. Partnered with Textron and H&K, Winchester has a Small Arms dynamo power house gunning for the full system.
They (Winchester) are now in control of the ammunition supply. Now, they could easily be told by the DoD to produce Sig’s ammo design or another entirely based on DoD needs. Stranger decisions have been made. But as for producing ammunition at most efficient cost per round, keeping it all in their hands is usually a winning formula. With Textron and H&K taking the lead on the actual mechanics of the rifle and SAW replacement, the Army and Marines already bought into H&K weapons, and Olin Winchester running Lake City, that NGSW team is set to make serious ground in that contest.