The United States Army has placed a new $194 million order for small-caliber ammunition from Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, the plant's operator announced Tuesday.
The order with Alliant Techsystems Operations, a subsidiary of Lake City operator Northrop Grumman Corporation, is for the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year. Lake City produces about 90 percent of the military's small-caliber ammunition, as well as over-the-counter ammunition for commercial sales.
Whitney Watson, spokesperson for Northrop Grumman, said the order could potentially add some jobs at the plant, given the order’s size, but at the very least the plant is always hiring.
“It's one of the larger orders we've had the last several years, and for sure we're hiring,” Watson said. “It definitely speaks to the stability of Lake City.”
The order includes 5.56mm, 7.62mm and caliber .50 cartridges that the plant already produces. Since 2000, more than 18 billion rounds of small-caliber ammunition has been produced at Lake City by Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK (before Northrop purchased it) and other operators.
This order is separate from the anticipated work Lake City will have producing a different-sized ammunition round for a new combat rifle that the Army is developing. That new ammunition line will mean a new building constructed in the Lake City facility in the coming years.
Currently, Watson said, Lake City has about 2,000 Northrop Grumman employees, not counting some private contractors.