Friday, March 16, 2012

Hey Look: Big Sis is buying (more) ammo

Secretary Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security and its ICE division are awarding a new contract for up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber pistol ammunition:
ANOKA, Minn., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK - News) announced that it is being awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS, ICE) for .40 caliber ammunition. This contract features a base of 12 months, includes four option years, and will have a maximum volume of 450 million rounds. 
ATK was the incumbent and won the contract with its HST bullet, which has proven itself in the field. The special hollow point effectively passes through a variety of barriers and holds its jacket in the toughest conditions. HST is engineered for 100-percent weight retention, limits collateral damage, and avoids over-penetration. 
"We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE," said Ron Johnson, President of ATK's Security and Sporting group.  "The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe." 
ATK will produce the ammunition at the Federal Cartridge Company facility in Anoka, Minn.  Deliveries are expected to begin in June.
What's not immediately clear is whether this ammo buy replaces, or is in addition to, the contract Homeland Security and ICE awarded for up to 200 million rounds in 2009:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Winchester Ammunition was recently awarded a contract by the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security to supply a maximum of 200 million, 40 cal. rounds over the next five years... 
The load selected for this contract is a 135-grain, hollow point designed for the office of Field Operations of Customs and Border Protection. It will fall under the Winchester Ranger line of products.
Based on the information released by DHS and its contractors, 200 million rounds was apparently deemed a five year supply in 2009, but now DHS puts a plan in place to acquire 450 million rounds in the same caliber over a similar five year period. What's behind the DHS push for an ammo contract more than twice as big as was deemed necessary just three years ago? And again, we can't tell from the information here whether the new contract for ATK ammo replaces, or is in in addition to, the previous one for Winchester.

Post updated 12:00 pm EDT 3/18/2012

Related: Now DHS is buying rifle ammo

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