Radford Army Ammunition Plant

Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, VA
The U.S. Military’s Primary Propellant Manufacturer

Situated on more than 7,000 acres in southwestern Virginia, the Radford Army Ammunition Plant was built in the 1940s to support the war effort. It has played an important role in every American conflict since then, and today is the core propellant-manufacturing facility for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Radford is capable of producing mass quantities of solvent and solventless propellants to support direct fire, indirect fire, and rocket applications. The facility uses a variety of ingredients in its propellant-making process, including nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose. Radford currently is the primary supplier of solventless propellants.and is the only North American manufacturer and supplier of nitrocellulose.

Key Facts

  • Constructed in August of 1940 and built in nine months at a cost of $40 million.
  • At its peak during World War II, Radford employed over 23,000 workers.
  • Located on nearly 7,000 acres, on two separate sites, in southwestern Virginia.
  • The only North American manufacturer and supplier of nitrocellulose.
  • Capable of producing 580,000 kilowatt hours daily, enough power for 50,000 people.
  • Can produce 23.5 million pounds of steam daily, enough to heat 10,000 homes.  
  • Radford participates in the Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support program, which leases onsite space to private companies.