News release: Watervliet Arsenal secures $7.8 m contract - Nov. 29, 2012


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News release announcing a multimillion dollar contract.

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News release: Watervliet Arsenal secures $7.8 m contract - Nov. 29, 2012

  1. 1. U.S. ARMY WATERVLIET ARSENAL NEWS RELEASE John B. Snyder Public Affairs Officer U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Building 10, Room 102 Watervliet, NY 12189 Nov. 29, 2012 (518) 266-5055 Arsenal receives $7.8 million contract to supply Australian Army with new lightweight cannonsWATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- The Arsenal announced today that it received a $7.8 millioncontract to provide the Australian Army, via BAE Systems, with 19 M776 155mm cannons as partof the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Military Sales program.“This multimillion dollar order will add to our current workload more than 16,000 hours of directlabor,” said Jake Peart, the Arsenal’s chief of Production Control & Program Management. “Wewill begin shipping in the fall of 2013 and we will complete our production in the spring of 2014.”Hugh McNamara, the Arsenal’s program manager for the 155mm cannon, said that this is a follow-on order for the Australian Army as the Arsenal had previously worked with BAE Systems tomanufacture 35 tubes and subassemblies for the M777A2 howitzer in 2011.The M777 howitzer, which was fielded in the U.S. military in 2003, is replacing the much heavierM198 155mm towed howitzer system currently in use by the Royal Australian Artillery, McNamarasaid.“This order will require a wide variety of specialized machining skills because the order is for thecomplete cannon system, which includes such parts as the 155mm barrel, breech block, breech ring,and muzzle break,” McNamara added.This is the second multi-million dollar contract awarded to the Arsenal in the two months. InOctober, the Arsenal received a $4.2 million contract for a new lightweight 60mm mortar baseplatefor the U.S. Army.According to BAE Systems: The revolutionary M777, weighing in at less than 4200kg (about 9259 pounds) is the world’s firstartillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminum alloys, resulting in a howitzerwhich is half the weight of conventional 155mm systems. -more-
  2. 2. The M777 can fire the “smart” Excalibur round, co-developed by Global Combat Systems upto 40 km (25 miles) accurately enough to target individual rooms within a building, reducing thechance of innocent casualties and allowing supporting fire to be brought down much closer tofriendly troops. It can hurl a standard 43.5 kg shell almost 30 km (21 miles) at 2.5 times the speed of sound. Theprojectile takes just over a minute to fly this distance and reaches a maximum height of 12km. Theshell reaches its maximum speed of 2900 kph (1800 mph) by the time it exits the muzzle of the gun. ###Photo and cutline:The Watervliet Arsenal received an order to manufacture 19 155mm cannons as part of the M777155mm Lightweight Howitzer system being purchased by the Australian Army. Soldiers from the82nd Airborne Division in the Konar Province, Afghanistan in August 2011 are firing a U.S. M777howitzer. Photo by Spc. Evan D. Marcy_55th Signal.