RATS Saving Time, Money at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant
October 18, 2012
INDEPENDENCE, Mo.-Not mice, but RATS is making a big impact at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant here.
LCAAP, part of the Joint Munitions Command, performs reliability testing for all calibers of small arms and serves as NATO's National and Regional Test Center for ammunition and weapons testing.
Range Accuracy Target System, RATS for short, is an electronic targeting system used to test ammunition fired at 300 meters and 550 meters. It's an acoustic targeting system that has its own generator and sits on a trailer so it's freely portable.
The concept of RATS was suggested by Tim Kirkman, NATO proof officer at LCAAP.
The Army funded the $180,000 project, and ATK, LCAAP's contracted operator, built the system.
"With the new portable RATS, we can shoot 300 and 550 at the same time with half the personnel to do it," said Kirkman. "It saves time and money, and it frees up employees to focus on other projects. It helps us work smarter, not harder."
The portable RATS at LCAAP has reduced ammunition testing turnaround times by 90 days, exceeding planned project goals.
From its headquarters at the Rock Island Arsenal, JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. government agencies and allied nations.