Federal Ammunition Army Contract: $114 Million in Ammo

A contract with the United States Army that spans five years and involves the production of $114 million in ammunition has been awarded to Federal Ammunition. It’s a significant contract and although it’s certainly a financial win, it’s also an honor to load ammunition that will be used by United States service members.

US Army soldier
A military contract for ammunition that’s worth $114 million has been awarded to Federal Ammunition. (Photo credit: U.S. Army)

The Defense.gov site provides a general overview of the contract:

Vista Outdoor Sales LLC, Anoka, Minnesota, was awarded a $114,813,500 firm-fixed-price contract for the 5.56 mm Semi-Jacketed Frangible Cartridge, MK311 MOD 3 (AA40) ammunition. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 17, 2027. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-22-D-0026).

Federal Ammunition factory in Anoka, Minnesota
Federal Ammunition’s factory is located in Anoka, Minnesota. (Photo credit: Federal Ammunition)

Jason Vanderbrink, President of Federal Ammunition, remarked on the military contract:

This contract is historic. It is the largest government contract awarded to Federal in its 100-years of operation and speaks volumes to the trust the United States military has in our American workforce assembling the best products for our servicemen and servicewomen.

Federal ammunition XM193 5.56 M193 Ball
5.56x45mm NATO is one of the rounds Federal Ammunition will be loading for the U.S. Army under the contract. The ammunition pictured is the same caliber but a different load than what Federal is making for military use. (Photo credit: Federal Ammunition))

The AA40 5.56 mm NATO frangible ammunition (Semi-Jacketed Frangible Cartridge, MK311 MOD 3) being produced by Federal Ammunition is commonly used by American service members for target and training purposes.

In recent years, the United States military has become increasingly interested in using less toxic materials in their munitions, and this is one way they’re going about it. These cartridges are designed to be non-toxic and have bullets made from sintered copper and tungsten. Guns the cartridge has been used in include the M16A2, the M16A4, and the M4A1.

Cross-sections of 5.56 NATO rounds
Cross-sections of 5.56 NATO rounds are pictured above. The AA40 5.56 mm NATO frangible ammunition (Semi-Jacketed Frangible Cartridge, MK311 MOD 3) is at the center of the image. (Photo credit: wolfganggross)

Vice President of Government Sales David Leis said:

Federal’s frangible training ammunition has been recognized as the best in the business by the United States military and this latest U.S. Army awarded contract continues that recognition. The ammunition is designed to disintegrate into small fragments on impact, minimizing over-penetrating and ricochet hazards, making it ideal for training purposes.

In addition, Erik Carlson, Senior Director of Operations, remarked on the requirements for such a contract:

Successfully executing on the AA40 contract requires large scale production capabilities combined with stringent quality control measures. Awards of this magnitude are validation of Federal’s committed workforce to meet these demands and provide the best ammunition possible for our U.S. Armed Forces time and time again.

Do you think the United States Army will ever move away from using the 5.56 NATO as its standard duty weapon chambering, or is it here to stay, no matter what? Tell us in the comments.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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