Defense

October 23, 2013

Improvements to Army’s new 5.56mm production lines help save government more than $20 million

M855A1 slug cold heading operations at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Lake City, Mo.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – The Program Executive Office for Ammunition’s Enhanced Performance Round program shaved off more than $20 million dollars in a value engineering project aimed at renovating the bullet production lines and improving the program’s purchasing strategies.

The M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, or EPR, is the newest member of the Army’s small-caliber family of munitions fired from the 5.56mm family of weapons. It is replacing the M855 cartridge.

The M855A1 EPR’s new bullet design provides Soldiers with better hard-target penetration and more consistent soft-target performance at increased distances. Additionally, because it is lead-free, the M855A1 allows training exercises to occur on ranges where lead projectiles are no longer permitted.

The M855A1 5.56mm EPR ball cartridge costs have been reduced by incorporating low cost component manufacturing methods, improving production efficiency to the high speed SCAMP (Small Caliber Ammunition Modernization Program) cartridge production line, and enhancing purchasing strategies and competitive buying.

Many of the modifications began in fiscal year 2011 and continued until all improvements were realized in the fiscal year 2013 contracts. The changes reduced cost while maintaining the desired performance and quality of the cartridge.

The savings will further support the M855A1 program.

 

Manufacturing

Manufacturing improvements helped reduce the round’s cost. Because the bullet assembly production equipment was aging, several units were rehabilitated to restore the equipment back to near original capability. These renovations improved the manufacturing quality.

The M855A1 has a reverse drawn jacket with an exposed penetrator projectile which is different than every other projectile in mass production at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

This projectile configuration, with complex and tight tolerances, required significant engineering work by engineers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, and Alliant Techsystems contractors at Lake City, Mo., to facilitate large scale manufacturing.

Another key in the low cost manufacturing of the bullet was the implementation of the M855A1 projectile onto the SCAMP line, which is able to assemble projectiles at a high rate. This included the refinement of the tooling package and changes to the in-process handling. Currently, the SCAMP process now manufactures the same projectile as the bullet assembly presses with the same performance capability.

In the fiscal year 2013 PEO Ammunition’s assigned VE goal was $10 million. This project helped PEO Ammunition exceed its organization goal with a total savings of $43.599 million.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Air Force leaders discuss nuclear enterprise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, speaks at the The Nuclear Enterprise panel during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology...
 

 
Army photograph

Night turns into day: Army researchers enable night lethality

Army photograph In complete dark from significant standoff, Soldiers use medium wave infrared technology to turn night into day. In science fiction, technology problems are solved with the stroke of a writer’s pen. In rea...
 
 

Breedlove: U.S. reconsidering troop reductions in Europe

NATOís Supreme Allied Commander Europe said today that Pentagon leaders are reviewing decisions to scale down U.S. military forces in Europe in light of the changing security environment on the continent triggered by Russiaís annexation of Ukraineís Crimean peninsula and Moscowís ongoing support for rebels in the east. I have talked to leadership here about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox

Aerial target QF-16 takes to the sky

Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox The first unmanned QF-16 Viper struck down over the Gulf of Mexico Sept. 5, 2014, was part of a joint effort between the Test and Training Division at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., an...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>