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US Army opens new 155mm artillery munitions plant in Texas

Published 05/29/2024, 04:53 PM
Updated 05/29/2024, 04:55 PM
© Reuters.

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army inaugurated its new Universal Artillery Projectile Lines facility in Mesquite, Texas, on Wednesday, marking a significant step in producing more 155mm artillery and modernizing domestic munitions production capabilities.

The plant, managed by General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) Ordnance and Tactical Systems, is part of a broader effort by the Army to update its industrial base and achieve a goal of making 155mm artillery shells at a rate of 100,000 a month.

Demand for 155mm artillery rounds has soared in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But allies' supplies for their own defense have been run down as they have rushed shells to Kyiv, which fires thousands of rounds per day.

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth highlighted the importance of the facility, noting the plant's role in enhancing national defense by increasing production. "The work done in these production facilities contributes directly to our nation's defense and makes us stronger," Wormuth stated at the opening ceremony.

The more than $500 million facility was funded through supplemental spending bills from fiscal 2022 and 2023 and features advanced manufacturing technologies and automation for producing large-caliber metal parts. It is designed to flexibly produce various munitions sizes with minimal adjustments, to facilitate the Army's modernization goals.

Upon completion, the Army will own the capital equipment and lease it back to General Dynamics.

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