ATK Protests $850M Army Contract Award

Alliant Techsystems filed a petition on Monday protesting an $850 million contract that it lost to London-based BAE Systems.

Just a week after Eden Prairie-based Alliant Techsystems, Inc., announced that it lost an $850 million government contract, the company filed a petition protesting the government's decision to award the contract to a competitor.

The contract in question involves an $850 million deal to operate the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, Virginia-a government-owned facility that ATK has operated since 1995.

London-based BAE Systems was recently awarded the 10-year contract and is scheduled to begin operating the plant after a six-month transition period. ATK's contract for the plant expires in September.

“As an expert in the operation of the facility and the bidder with the lowest evaluated price, and after receiving a debriefing from the United States Army, ATK has requested a Government Accountability Office review of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant facility competition,” Bryce Hallowell, ATK's vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement.

Hallowell added that the decision to protest the award will not impact the facility's production or delivery schedules during the period when the contract is being reviewed.

The Radford Army Ammunition Plant was established in 1941 and manufactures propellants for military munitions. According to ATK's annual report, revenues from the plant totaled about $233 million for the company's 2011 fiscal year, which ended in March.

According to Hallowell, the plant has about 1,300 employees. He said that BAE will determine those employees' future once it takes over operations, and a BAE spokesman recently told Twin Cities Business that the company does not have any major staffing changes planned at the facility.

ATK has two other contracts for government-owned, contractor-operated facilities-the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) in Independence, Missouri, and the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in Rocket Center, West Virginia. ATK's LCAAP contract expires in the company's 2014 fiscal year, which ends in March 2014. The ABL contract expires in 2021 with a possible 10-year extension to 2031.

ATK employs about 18,000 people and is among Minnesota's 20-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $4.84 billion for the fiscal year that ended in March.