Military


Radford Army Ammunition Plant

Radford AAP is in southwestern Virginia, 40 miles west of Roanoke. The facility consists of two units: the 4,111-acre Radford Unit near the city of Radford and the 2,840-acre New River Unit near the town of Dublin. Originally, they were designated separate units but were combined after World War II. (Much of the New River Unit has since been sold.) There are 6,901 acres at the site and 1,038 buildings.

Radford AAP was established during World War II and produced approximately 600 million pounds of powder during the war years. It was placed in standby status after World War II but was reactivated to full operating capacity during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

It manufactures a wide variety of propellants. The propellants are both solvent (single- and multiple-base) and solventless. The facility underwent extensive renovation during the Korean War and further expansion during the 1960s.

The present contractor is Alliant Techsystems, Inc. Current tenants include Carilion Wellness Center, a fireworks manufacturer, Virginia Tech, and Energy Conservation Training Firm.

In early 2005, after two years designing and building the only flexible energetics production facility, ATK prepared the new facility at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) for its final "shake down" cruise before production commences. The first production lots of TNT were delivered ahead of schedule and bring an end to a twenty-year drought in a domestic manufacturing capability critical to the needs of the nation's armed forces.

ATK's design approach allowed converting the facility into a a production line capable of producing insensitive TNT or other advanced energetics as they are developed. The US Navy and other services need energetic materials that deliver the effectiveness of existing technologies yet are far less likely to accidentally detonate when exposed to hostile conditions.

The new production capability at RFAAP also includes a small-scale production facility for insensitive munitions and a fully capable developmental laboratory. ATK engineers are pioneering materials and techniques that the company believes could be produced at RFAAP.



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