News release Watervliet receives contracts worth more than $9.4M - July 23, 2014
1. U.S. ARMY WATERVLIET ARSENAL
John B. Snyder
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal
Building 10, Room 102
Watervliet, NY 12189
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2014
$9.4M in new contracts helps retain critical skills
at the Watervliet Arsenal
WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. – The arsenal announced today that it has received 11 contracts
this month worth more than $9.4 million to provide the U.S. Army with spare parts for its 155mm
howitzer and 81mm mortar systems, as well as for some limited work for the Naval Surface Warfare
Center’s 105mm cannon system. With today’s announcement, the arsenal has in the last 45 days
received more than $10.6 million in new orders.
“These contracts mean more to us than just money,” said Jake Peart, the arsenal’s chief of
production planning and control. “In an era of declining defense weapons requirements, we view
these contracts as a means to our retaining a critical skill base that will provide our war fighters with
the best weapon systems in the world.”
Given the continued uncertainty today with the defense budget, weapons program managers have
been very cautious in soliciting new work and so, every new contract, no matter how small, is
celebrated as a major achievement, Peart said.
Although these contracts will provide more than 21,000 hours of direct labor requirements, as well
as hundreds of hours of indirect labor support, they still do not exercise all critical manufacturing
skills the arsenal is trying to retain, Peart added.
“The importance of retaining our critical skill base cannot be overstated as each specialized
manufacturing skill is essential to ensuring the long-term viability of the arsenal,” Peart said.
The arsenal maintains 11 critical capabilities and or skill sets that are required for the manufacturing
of large caliber weapon systems. The manufacturing of tank and howitzer cannons exercises all 11
skills sets that range from complex machining to rotary forging, while manufacturing spare parts
and mortar tubes uses no more than seven of the 11 critical skills. The arsenal’s value to the Army is
increased by the retention of these critical manufacturing skills that today cannot be replicated at any
other government-owned and -operated facility.
2. So, although these orders are good news for Watervliet, they still fall short in retaining all the critical
skills necessary to support the arsenal’s core mission of providing large caliber manufacturing for
the Defense Department. There is certainly more hard work to do this summer for the business
development team at Watervliet in search of larger, more demanding orders.
The 11 orders range from the manufacturing of something as small that can fit into a pants pocket,
such as a firing pin for a 155mm howitzer, to something as large as a carrier assembly that will hold
a 155mm howitzer tube in place in when the gun is fired. The first shipment will go out November
2014 and some contracts will require the arsenal to ship well into 2017.
The 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 in July 2013.
Today’s arsenal is relied upon by U.S. and foreign militaries to produce the most advanced, high-
tech, high-powered weaponry for cannon, howitzer, and mortar systems. This National Historic
Registered Landmark has an annual economic benefit to the local community in excess of $90