DoD Primed to Expand Domestic Production of Fighter Aircraft Ammunition

The Department of Defense (DoD)’s Office of Industrial Base Policy (IBP) has achieved a major milestone in the production of PGU-48/B ammunition for advanced fixed-wing fighter aircraft. The Joint Program Executive Office for Armaments and Ammunition (JPEO A&A), American Rheinmetall Munitions (ARM), Inc., and IBP’s Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) office have partnered to fund the new project. Funding includes installation and initial operating capability of a modernized case priming machine to support a pilot production line for medium caliber munitions manufacturing in Camden, Arkansas.

The completed production line will enhance ammunition component supply chains by adding a third domestic medium-sized munitions supplier to the industrial base. The Munition Manufacturing and Supply Chain Enhancement project is led by MCEIP’s Innovation Capability and Modernization (ICAM) office.

Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, ASD(IBP) stated, “We are pleased by the partnerships created through this effort and the achievements that will further enable this domestic munition production capability in support the Department’s warfighting needs.”

This manufacturing technology modernization will ensure DoD supply chain access to organic medium munitions production. “The addition and qualification of the cartridge case priming machine at the Arkansas facility will effectively enhance U.S. industrial base capabilities and resilience by removing reliance on a sole source,” commented Mr. Greg O’Connor, JPEO A&A’s technical lead for the project. “The small-scale prototype line will support national security interests by establishing critical domestic manufacturing capability for this unique technology.”

“Adding a new source for primed cartridge cases provides a significant increase in available capacity and introduces more competition in a process that can be a major bottleneck, even for large prime contractors,” remarked ARM’s Business Development team, spearheaded by the Vice President of Business Development, Mr. Joseph Chan, and CEO, Mr. John Somich. “The stress on the supply chain to meet increasing demand has forced our industrial base to find new ways to produce at-scale. This has made production capacity and mitigating constraints a strategic imperative for many stakeholders. Many professionals across the U.S. Government and industry that focus on armament production have been raising concerns about legacy facilities and weak supply chains. Accelerating munition facilitization strengthens our ability to surge production.”

For additional information on MCEIP and other ICAM projects, please email osd.pentagon.ousd-a-s.mbx.ibas@mail.mil