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Lima Army Tank Plant (LATP)
Lima, Ohio
Type tank plant

The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, also known as the Lima Army Tank Plant (LATP) is a tank plant located in Lima, Ohio. It is a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) facility currently operated by General Dynamics Land Systems.

History Edit

Under its previous name (the Lima Army Modification Center),it was operated by the Chrysler Corporation until 1981 when the operations were switched to General Dynamics. In February 1980, the first M1 Abrams rolled out of LATP. After a contract the plant began producing the Abrams at a rate of 30 a month. By January 1985, the last M1 had rolled off the assembly line, and production began on the improved M1 (IPM1) in October. The plant later manufactured the M1A1, with the first pilot vehicle built in August 1985. The M1A1 was produced at a rate of 120 a month.[1]

General Dynamics ended its operations at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in December, 1996.[2] Some of the tank maintenance operations were thereafter transferred to Lima Army Tank Plant.[3]

To reflect the decision to manufacture the United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle in the plant, in June 2004 the facility was renamed as the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC).[4]

Closure Edit

Army officials are planning to end Army tank production in the Lima Army Tank Plant from 2013 to 2016 because production of the Abrams tank completes in 2013 and there is no requirement to resume production until 2017. The Army will be completing their Acquisition Objective for Abrams tanks in June 2013. The plant will continue to produce other products including the Israeli Merkava and Abrams Foreign Military tanks during that timeframe. If there is a gap where no additional production is occurring during the 2013 to 2017 timeframe, then the Army is considering closure of the plant. The Army will layaway unused equipment. General Dynamics Land Systems, which currently operates in the government owned factory, opposed the closure, arguing that suspension of operations would increase long-term costs and reduce flexibility.[5][6] Recapitalization efforts during the war have resulted in the youngest fleet age in the history of the Abrams program. The average age of the Abrams tank in U.S. Army service less than two years old. Plant closure would cost the Army $822 million in closing and re-opening costs.[7] If passed, a bill currently in the U.S. Senate would allocate $272 million in funds toward the plant to allow it to continue regular operations through July 2014.[8]

ReferencesEdit

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