WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army said it awarded $1.5 billion in contracts to nine companies in the U.S., Canada, India and Poland to boost global production of 155mm artillery rounds.
Over the last two weeks in September, the service finalized a flurry of contracts that “resourced each major component, material or required production process to maintain momentum for the goal of 80,000 projectiles per month by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2025,” it said in an Oct. 6 statement.
Army officials have recently stated that 155mm artillery munition production will increase to 28,000 per month in October, which is double what the Army was producing at the start of the year. The plan is to build roughly 60,000 a month in FY24, reaching 80,000 by FY25. By FY26, the plan is to build 100,000 a month.
The Army has sent more than 2 million 155mm rounds to Ukraine as that country fights off the Russian invasion which began in February 2022 ,and is working to replenish its stockpile.
The service has already set in motion an expansion to its 155mm shell production from two facilities in Pennsylvania to another two facilities in Mesquite, Texas, and in Canada.
The Army conducts the load, assemble and pack process at its Iowa Ammunition Plant, and plans to expand there as well along with other locations.
The contracts included procuring 14.2 million pounds of bulk energetics, consisting of TNT and IMX-104, as well as 270,000 primers, 678,000 fuses, 2.7 Modular Artillery Charge System Combustible Cartridge Cases; Load Assemble and Pack of 1.6 million MACS propellant increments and Load Assemble and Pack of 451,000 M795/M11238 projectiles, the Army lists in its statement.
The Army also awarded contracts, in September, to increase industrial base production capability for M795 LAP, MACS CCCs and MACS propellant. These include three multiyear procurement contracts for M1128 LAP and MACS LAP.
Overall, the Army has awarded five multiyear production contracts for M1128 shell bodies and MACS metal containers in FY23, the statement adds.
The companies receiving awards in the U.S. are BAE Ordnance Systems Inc. with work taking place in Tennessee and Arkansas; Security Signals Inc, in Tennessee; Action Manufacturing Co. in Pennsylvania; Day & Zimmerman in Arkansas; American Ordnance LLC in Iowa and Armtec in California.
The Army also awarded three international companies contracts – NitroChem SA in Poland, Solar Industries India Ltd. and IMT Defence in Canada.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.