Watervliet Arsenal - nearly 200 years of continuous support to our warfighters

Thursday August 16, 2012

What is it?

The Watervliet Arsenal is the nation's oldest, continuously-operated arsenal having begun its manufacturing of military hardware during the War of 1812. Today's Arsenal is a component of TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, which is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. Sitting on 143 acres in New York's Capital District is a $1.6 billion complex that consists of 2.1 million square feet of manufacturing and administrative space.

What has the Army done?

Although the Arsenal's product lines have changed hundreds of times since its inception, it has always manufactured products that have either made our warfighters more lethal or more survivable on the battlefield. Today, more than 600 employees provide manufacturing, engineering, procurement, and quality assurance for cannons (tank, howitzer, and air gunships), mortars, and associated materiel throughout the acquisition life cycle. The Arsenal is the 14th largest employer in New York's Capital District and has an annual economic impact to the local community in excess of $100 million. The Arsenal is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Watervliet Arsenal is the only place in the Department of Defense where those who research, design, and develop weapon prototypes reside with the manufacturing base. The Army's Benet Laboratories is recognized worldwide as a Center of Excellence for gun design, structural and dynamic analysis, and the application of advanced materials and composites. Through this unique synergy, where engineers who design a product are just a five-minute walk from those who will machine those designs into a finished product for our warfighters, allows the Arsenal to rapidly adjust to new and changing requirements.

Why is it important to the Army?

Given an era of impending reductions to the Defense budget, the Arsenal provides a tremendous value to the American taxpayer. As an Army-owned and operated manufacturing center, it is not Congressionally funded nor does it earn a profit. It funds its operations and maintenance from sales of products, and prices its products without a profit add-on, which ensures that the American taxpayer gets the best value for their dollar. In fact, if there are savings realized during a manufacturing program, those savings are passed back to the customer, which ultimately is the American taxpayer. Finally, because the Arsenal is an Army-owned and operated facility the Department of Defense may direct an immediate shift in manufacturing priorities to support a joint urgent needs requirement.


Watervliet Arsenal website

Watervliet Arsenal Facebook

Army Materiel Command website

TACOM website







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