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U.S. Army increase cannon production capacity in historic ‘Big Gun Shop’

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


The U.S. Army decides to increase cannon production capacity in historic ‘Big Gun Shop’ at Watervliet Arsenal in Watervliet, New York.

The oldest continuously active arsenal in the United States produces much of the artillery for the army, as well as gun tubes for cannons, mortars, and tanks.

Currently, the U.S Army has imposed new priorities, which require promoting dynamic synergies between production and strategic development needs. One such priority, the integration of сutting-edge technology in production and development, is a surface to surface strategic fires capability.

The demand in increased capacity results from the Army’s prioritization of long-range precision artillery to meet potential near-peer threats.

“Long-range artillery has been in the arsenal’s wheel house since 1883,” said, Joseph Turcotte, Watervliet Arsenal deputy to the commander. “The Army’s prioritization on long-range artillery is the push behind expanding our manufacturing capacity and driving our modernization efforts. It is imperative that we have the tools necessary to fulfill our mission to the Department of Defense and this is an important step in completing that goal.”

In response to increased workload demands, the arsenal is increasing production capacity making the ‘Big Gun Shop’ the perfect location to house new equipment on the 143-acre installation. The machines will perform a variety of manufacturing functions including turning operations, straightening and abrasive blasting.

“New requirements and more machines to produce at increased rates are what is driving this latest batch of equipment,” said Tim Fontaine, industrial engineering specialist with the arsenal’s capital improvement program.

In addition to increasing capacity, new machines being installed will future-proof the arsenal’s capabilities by ensuring the arsenal can meet tomorrow’s production requirements.

“Being able to produce future weapon systems is a primary focus when planning new machines,” said James Kardas, industrial engineer with the arsenal’s capital improvement program.

The ‘Big Gun Shop’ revitalization is the latest in a series of recent capital investment projects at the arsenal. Which, according to Watervliet Arsenal Commander Col. Milton G. Kelly, reflects the Army’s commitment to the historic arsenal.

“Investment in new machines is a testament of the Army’s faith and trust in the arsenal to perform its mission and do it well,” said Kelly. “These new machines help us become more efficient and respond to future requirements.”

Watervliet Arsenal is an Army-owned-and-operated manufacturing facility and is the oldest continuously active arsenal in the United States, having begun operations during the War of 1812. It celebrated its 200th anniversary on July 14, 2013. Today’s arsenal is relied upon by the U.S. and foreign militaries to produce the most advanced, high-tech, high-powered weaponry for cannons, howitzers and mortar systems.

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