ATK, the company that operates the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, will keep operating the plant for several more years.

The U.S. Army owns the plant, which makes small-arms ammunition for the U.S. military and for NATO. The Army puts Lake City operations out for bid every 10 years. ATK this morning announced that the Army has selected it for the continued operations. The contracts – both to run the plant and to make ammunition – are for seven years, with extensions for another three.

ATK says it has about 2,500 employees at Lake City, easily making it Eastern Jackson County’s biggest private employer. The plant is at Missouri 7 and Missouri 78 in eastern Independence.

ATK, or Alliant Techsystems, is based in Minneapolis. It makes aerospace, defense and commercial products and has operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and overseas.