BAE to Modernize WWII-Era Ammunition Plant

The facility is vital to national security.

An aerial view of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, Va.
An aerial view of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, Va.
BAE Systems

BAE Systems Ordnance Systems recently selected a partner to update the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, a World War II-era facility vital to national security.

The company picked Hanwha Defense USA, the U.S. defense subsidiary of South Korean company Hanwha Aerospace, to modernize the government-owned and contractor-operated facility in Radford, Virginia. 

According to John Swift, VP and GM of BAE Systems Ordnance Systems, Hanwha Defense USA will lean on its expertise to integrate advanced chemical processing capabilities into BAE's manufacturing environment.

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The factory upgrade will be familiar territory for Hanwha. According to company president and CEO John Kelly, Hanwha recently completed similar efforts at the company's energetics facilities in Korea. 

BAE has a history of modernizing while continuing to manufacture. The company hopes its new efforts and Hanwha's previous experience will result in a state-of-the-art propellant manufacturing process.

BAE has been the operating contractor of the Radford plant since 2012. In December 2023, the company also received a contract to continue operating the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, Tennessee through 2035.

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