WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- The arsenal announced today that it received a $6.9 million contract to provide 600 60mm mortar barrels for the U.S. Army's TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.This is the second multimillion dollar contract awarded to the arsenal in the last 30 days, said Bruce Pienkoski, the Arsenal's program manager for mortars. On May 9, the arsenal announced that it received a $9.3 million contract to provide 500 60mm mortar bipods also for TACOM."This multimillion dollar order will add to the Arsenal's current workload more than 18,000 hours of direct labor," Pienkoski said. "Because of the long lead time to procure raw stock steel, we expect to start manufacturing the barrels in February 2014."The first shipment of barrels is scheduled to leave the arsenal in June 2014 and the order should be complete by February 2015.Tom Pond, the Arsenal's director of operations and production, said, "Given this era of fiscal uncertainty in the Defense Department, each order is essential to sustaining the critical skills of the arsenal workforce.""This is great news to have more than $16 million of new orders to come in during the last 30 days," Pond said. "We have positioned ourselves well for the future in that we have become the manufacturer of first choice for U.S. and for many foreign militaries when it comes to mortars and large caliber gun systems."Pond said that foreign militaries from such countries as the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Australia have turned to the arsenal in recent years for mortars systems and for tank and howitzer cannons.TACOM often orders parts for weapon systems from the arsenal to fulfill current or future needs of U.S. units, as well as to provide foreign militaries with weapon systems that are part of a Department of State Foreign Military Sales program.The 60mm mortar system is used primarily by the infantry as an indirect fire weapon when a high angle trajectory is required to hit enemy troops, materiel, and positions. It has a maximum range of about 3,500 meters.This order consists of several close-tolerance machined parts, such as the 60mm barrel and its base cap.The Watervliet Arsenal is an Army-owned-and-operated manufacturing facility and is the oldest, continuously active arsenal in the United States having begun operations during the War of 1812. It will celebrate its 200th anniversary on July 14, 2013.Today's Arsenal is relied upon by U.S. and foreign militaries to produce the most advanced, high-tech, high-powered weaponry for cannon, howitzer, and mortar systems. This National Historic Registered Landmark has an annual economic benefit to the local community in excess of $100 million.