Army's New Artillery Projectile Metal Parts Facility Begins Operations in Texas

Production line at the Army’s new Universal Artillery Projectile Line (UAPLF) in Mesquite, Texas. (Image: U.S. Army)

The Army has inaugurated a new modular metal parts facility in Mesquite, Texas, the Pentagon announced Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Among an assortment of production capabilities, the Universal Artillery Projectile Lines (UAPL) facility will increase the Army's ability to produce 155 mm munitions, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters during a briefing.

The UAPL is a state-of-the-art facility that will be operated by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. It is equipped with long-stroke, high-tonnage forging capabilities, and will be capable of high-volume production capabilities for large-caliber metal parts, according to the company's announcement about the facility's opening day ceremony.

The facility’s 155 mm metal parts production lines also meet Army modernization goals by incorporating high levels of automation, modern manufacturing practices, and digital-data-capture ability. It will offer the flexibility to produce a variety of metal parts ranging from 60 mm to 155 mm, with minimal changeover requirements.

“This Universal Artillery Projectile Line facility was designed and purpose-built to integrate new, innovative manufacturing processes to provide a resilient and enduring industrial capability for our warfighters,” said Firat Gezen, President of General Dynamics OTS. “This project is a testament to what partnership across the Department of Defense, U.S. Army, Congress, Industry, and the local community can accomplish when working together to achieve a common mission and support national security. We are grateful for the U.S. Army, our JPEO A&A teammates, our equipment supplier REPKON, Swinerton, numerous trade partners, and the GD-OTS employees who have worked diligently to make this significant occasion a reality.”

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth delivers keynote remarks and takes a facility tour at the Universal Artillery Projectile Line opening ceremony in Mesquite, Texas. (Image: U.S. Army)

Funding for the UAPL stems from the fiscal 2022 and 2023 congressional supplementals and reprogramming of funds within the Defense Department. Under a package of contracts awarded by the Army worth $576 million, GD-OTS designed and constructed the facility, to include the procurement, transportation, installation and commissioning. Upon completion, the Army will assume ownership of the capital equipment, subsequently leasing it back to GD-OTS through a government-furnished materiel agreement.

“This plant is an important example of how we are modernizing our World War II-era organic industrial base. The Army is spending more than a billion dollars every year to make these critical improvements,” said Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth. “We are building new production lines across the country, and we are expanding our contracts with existing production facilities to increase their production speed and capacity. And we couldn’t increase our production rates without the skilled expertise of the Americans who work in these arsenals and facilities around the country. The work done in these production facilities contributes directly to our nation’s defense and makes us stronger.”