Radford Army Ammunition Plant

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Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) is an ammunition manufacturing complex for the U.S. military with facilities located in Pulaski and Montgomery Counties, Virginia. The primary mission of the RFAAP is to manufacture propellants and explosives in support of field artillery, air defense, tank, missile, aircraft and Navy weapons systems. As of 2011 RFAAP is operated by BAE Systems under contract to the US Army Joint Munitions Command.


RFAAP was established April 5, 1941 as Radford Ordnance Works and New River Plant. In 1945, the works was renamed Radford Arsenal and the New River Ordnance Works was assumed as a subpost until 1950, when it became an integral part of the Radford Arsenal. In 1961 the arsenal was renamed Radford Ordnance Plant and RFAAP in 1963.[1] The facility used an ALCO MRS-1 military diesel locomotive, road number B2072, for switching, which was retired by the 1980s and scrapped at Cycle Systems in Roanoke, Virginia around 1993.[citation needed]

In 1995, Alliant Techsystems, parent company ATK Armament Systems, obtained a "facilities use" contract.[citation needed] In 1999, RFAAP gained the load, assembly and pack mission with the closure of Joliet Army Ammunition Plant in Illinois.[citation needed] "Radford is capable of producing mass quantities of solvent and solventless propellants to support direct fire, indirect fire, and rocket applications."[2] On May 12, 2011, the Army announced that BAE Systems had won the "facilities use" contract to become the plant operator.[citation needed]


RFAAP is housed on 4,600 acres (19 km2)[3] with 1,038 buildings, 214 igloos and storage capacity of 657,003 square feet[4] where the New River divides Pulaski from Montgomery County.

RFAAP is[when?] home to several tenants of similar industry, including: [5]

  • New River Energetics – Commercial Propellants
  • Alliant Techsystems – Medium Caliber LAP
  • Appalachian Railcar Service – Railcar Repair
  • Alliant Ordnance – Laboratory Facilities
  • Med Cal LAP – Manufacture of 25MM & 30MM Ammo
  • Montgomery County PSA – Drinking Water Sales to Montgomery County
  • Alexander Arms – Development, manufacturing, and sales of commercial rifles and ammunition
  • ALTESS – US Army Acquisition, Logistics & Technology Enterprise Systems & Service
  • Waco Inc. – Mechanical work on pipes and buildings, abatement of any asbestos containing materials and lead abatement.
  • Virginia Tech – Rail Car unloading and Coal Storage
  • Pyrotechnique by Grucci – Manufacture custom pyrotechnics for fireworks and DOD simulators.
  • NTS – testing & lab support
  • Cave Spring Painting – Equipment storage for commercial painting
  • Alliant Painting – Equipment storage for residential painting
  • Valley Turf – Office & Maintenance Shop for RFAAP mowing contractor and lawn tractor repairs<
  • US Cellular – Cellular Communications Tower Site
  • Crown Castle (CFW Wireless) – Cellular Communications Tower Site
  • GDOTS – General Dynamics MK-90 Field Rep Office

Environmental problems[edit]

In June 2015 the plant requested a renewal of its permit of an open burning ground which it has used for decades to dispose of its waste.[6] The ground is "located on the north bank of the New River in the Horseshoe Area, a section of the plant surrounded on three sides by the river". Rapid modernization is addressing this concern.


  1. ^ "Location and History" RFAAP Installation Restoration Program website. date ? Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Radford Army Ammunition Plant". BAE Systems. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  3. ^ Erich Weissbart. "Radford Army Ammunition Plant". EPA.
  4. ^ Joint Munitions Command. "Radford Army Ammunition Plant Fact sheet" (PDF). www.jmc.army.mil.
  5. ^ "RFAAP tenants". militarybases.com.
  6. ^ Mike Gangloff (June 20, 2015). "The Radford Army Ammunition Plant is asking to renew its permit for its controversial open burning ground". Roanoke Time (VA). BH Media Group Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 1 July 2015.

[1] "Ammunition Plant Plans to Reduce Open Burns" Roanoke Times. Retrieved July 26, 2015

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "[1]".

Coordinates: 37°11′02″N 80°32′41″W / 37.18389°N 80.54472°W / 37.18389; -80.54472