Industry News – Volume 4, Number 2


ATK Receives $24 Million Contract Modification to XM25, Individual Semi-Automatic Airburst System Engineering and Manufacturing Development Contract
ATK has received a $24 million contract modification to provide the U.S. Army with additional ammunition, hardware, test and analysis support further user assessments of the XM25, Individual Semi-Automatic Airburst System (ISAAS).  In March 2011, ATK received a $65.8 million Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract from the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier for the XM25.  This 30-month EMD contract provided the necessary funding for the continuing design, integration, production, and testing of full-up systems to ensure the weapon’s final design meets performance requirements and is production-ready prior to Army-wide fielding.

In 2010, the U.S. Army began a Forward Operational Assessment (FOA) of the XM25 with soldiers in Afghanistan to determine its capabilities through use in actual combat operations.  Based on the weapon’s initial success throughout the FOA, the Army has requested the items necessary to continue further weapon assessments.  Information gathered during the ongoing operational assessment will provide valuable user feedback that will ultimately support the EMD process.

“The XM25 provides the individual soldier with an advanced capability to quickly engage targets hidden behind walls or in defilade,” said Bruce DeWitt, Vice President and General Manager for ATK Advanced Weapons.  “By putting smart technology into the soldiers’ hands, we’re able to provide them with a distinct battlefield advantage by taking away an adversary’s ability to hide behind cover.”

Remington Model 870 PTM Shotguns Chosen by Multiple Police Departments as Standard Issue
The Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recently chose the Remington Model 870 Police Magnum as their department-issued shotgun.  “The Remington Model 870 is rugged, reliable, easy to operate and accurate.  We are proud to say that all of our 600 troopers now have a Model 870 shotgun in their patrol car and everybody is certified with it.  No need for cross training, since every trooper now has the same shotgun,” said Phillip Hemphill of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

S&W Secures M&P Pistol Contract From Belgian Federal Police
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 159-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection, and sport, announced today that it has recently received a contract from the Belgium Federal Police calling for 20,000 Smith & Wesson Military & Police (M&P) 9mm polymer pistols over a ten-year period.  The police agency, a force with 12,500 officers, has received an initial shipment of 2,500 pistols as part of the full department conversion to Smith & Wesson duty firearms.

ATK Names Amanda Covington AS Vice President OF Corporate Communications
ATK recently named Amanda Covington Vice President of Corporate Communications in Arlington, Va., effective Jan. 16.  Covington joined the company in 2008 as the Director of Communications for ATK Armament Systems in Clearfield, Utah.  Covington has more than 15 years combined experience in broadcast journalism, public and media relations, marketing, government relations, crisis communications, and strategic branding.

“Amanda’s results-driven approach to communications supports ATK’s business objectives as the company strengthens its brand and pursues growth strategies across our defense, aerospace and commercial business sectors.” said Steve Cortese, Senior Vice President, ATK Government Relations and Corporate Communications.  “ATK will significantly benefit from Amanda’s focus on developing long-term, collaborative partnerships and her ability to lead innovative communications strategies.”  Covington will lead corporate communications operations impacting employee relations, media and public relations, financial communications, crisis communications, branding, advertising, digital media and community relations.

Former ATF Head Blames Subordinates For ‘Fast and Furious’
In a confidential deposition with congressional investigators, the then-head of ATF Kenneth E. Melson blamed agents, field supervisors and even his top command for never advising him that for more than a year his agency allowed illegal gun sales along the southwestern U.S. border.

ATF To Amend Regulations Concerning Non-Immigrant Aliens
ATF recently published a letter to all firearm licensees explaining that the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel determined that ATF’s interpretation of which aliens present in the U.S. are prohibited from purchasing, receiving or possessing a firearm under the Gun Control Act (GCA) is overly broad.  The GCA’s prohibition only applies to aliens admitted under a nonimmigrant visa.  Some nonimmigrant aliens, including most Canadian visitors, as well as aliens admitted under the Visa Waiver program, are not prohibited and may lawfully purchase firearms.  However, ATF cautions to continue using the current form and to abide by current regulations, which remain the law, while ATF expeditiously works to amend the regulations.

General Casey Elected to Colt Defense Board
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., U.S. Army (ret.), has been elected to the governing board of Colt Defense.  Gen. Casey served as chief of staff of the U.S. Army for four years, from April 2007 to April 2011.  Previously, he was commander, Multinational Force-Iraq, from July 2004 to February 2007.  Said Gerald Dinkel, Colt Defense president and CEO, “His experience and success as a military leader in the most challenging and complex environments makes him an ideal person to contribute to our strategic planning, business execution and overall corporate governance.”

Colt To Open Florida Facility
Colt’s Manufacturing Co. announced it will open a new, 16,000 sq. ft. facility in Kissimmee, Fla., enabling the company to expand into new markets and business lines in parallel with the firm’s existing 100,000 sq. ft. facility in Connecticut.  Governor Rick Scott said that 63 engineering and manufacturing jobs would be created by Colt over the next three years.

Smith & Wesson Second-Quarter Sales Up 10.5 Percent
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. reported that second-quarter sales were up 10.5 percent compared to the same period last year.  “Our second quarter was a productive one, delivering sales growth across all of our handgun and modern sporting rifle categories, and highlighted by a number of accomplishments that demonstrate our sole focus on firearms,” said President and CEO James Debney.

Smith & Wesson Reaches Deal In Patent Infringement Dispute
Smith & Wesson and its Thompson/Center Arms business announced they will settle a patent infringement complaint with Traditions Sporting Goods, Inc. and its parent company, Ardesa S.A.  Under the terms of the agreement, Traditions and Ardesa have agreed to a multi-year license agreement, allowing them to use certain Thompson/Center Arms muzzleloader rifle technology.  In exchange, Smith & Wesson has agreed to dismiss all infringement claims asserted in the complaints.  Further details and financial terms of the settlement are not being made available.

National Presto Acquires Less-Than-Lethal Ammunition Business
National Presto Industries, Inc. announced that its Defense segment has purchased the assets of ALS Technologies, Inc., a small Arkansas, manufacturer of less-than-lethal ammunition.  Products include smoke and tear gas grenades, specialty impact munitions, diversionary devices and stun munitions, support accessories like launchers and gas masks, as well as training for the use of its products.  Current year sales are estimated to be $7.5 million. The products are sold primarily to law enforcement and corrections facilities.

ATF Criteria Faces Scrutiny On Letter-Ruling Process
The case-by-case basis in which ATF determines via private “letter ruling” firearms design and manufacturing regulatory compliance issues is being questioned both by members of industry and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  Critics are pointing to inconsistent interpretations of ATF regulations and a process that relies on firearm manufacturers submitting prototypes for examination and evaluation testing to find out whether the item complies with the law and regulations.  Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said of ATF’s firearms compliance criteria, “When the rules are subjective and continue to change, we cannot expect these business owners to comply with moving target regulations.”