By Ms. Brittany Bartholomew (AMC)February 14, 2013
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- On Jan. 31, BAE Systems, the Operating Contractor of Holston Army Ammunition Plant, celebrated a significant achievement in its collaboration with the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy in the completion of a manufacturing facility for Benziger TATB (triaminotrinitrobenzene).
TATB is a critical, insensitive explosive used in numerous fuze applications in DoD munitions systems and in support of DoE nuclear applications. Recognizing the need for a U.S. manufacturer of TATB, the government competed and ultimately awarded a facilitization program for the product to BAE Systems at HSAAP. In order to control program costs and optimize TATB production, the new manufacturing capability was incorporated into the existing Agile Manufacturing Facility at HSAAP. This flexible manufacturing infrastructure for energetic materials required minimal modifications before the necessary TATB equipment could be installed, resulting in a shorter project timeline versus building a completely new structure.
At the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new TATB facility, the achievement was appropriately recognized by various government representatives.
"We saved the government at least tens of millions of dollars by leveraging Holston's facility," Crane Robinson, Project Director for Joint Services stated. "This has been a great collaboration because of the trust among the government, the Navy, the Army, and BAE."
Dr. Christine Michienzi, staff specialist for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, described the achievement as "a catalyst for ensuring the warfighters have the weapons they need to defend the freedoms we enjoy today."
The HSAAP facility is the only CONUS source of TATB using the Benziger Process. After startup, BAE Systems will have the capability to produce approximately 35,000 pounds of TATB per month, which is sufficient capacity to meet all projected needs of the U. S. government and its allies .
"This project has been a major part of my life for a few years, and I am very proud to be a part of it," Lewis Steinhoff of the Department of Energy, the primary customer for TATB, shared. "That's one less product we have to go outside the United States to get."
Holston Army Ammunition Plant is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility located in Kingsport, Tenn. Since 1942, HSAAP has produced chemical explosives in support of our Warfighters and currently produces explosive fills for every type of ordnance used by the United States Department of Defense.
HSAAP is a subordinate installation of the Joint Munitions Command. 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.