The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence is about to become the focal point for a flurry of construction and tooling to produce the first new ammunition approved by the U.S. Army in 65 years.

The new 6.8mm round uses a patented lightweight metallic case that can handle higher pressures, resulting in faster velocity, increased accuracy and more lethality.

The Army put the prototype round into the hands of rifle manufacturers and asked them to develop new infantry portable weapons. In late April, Sig Sauer won the 10-year contract for the Sig MCX-Spear rifle and the Sig-LMG lightweight belt fed machine gun, both of which can fire the new Sig 6.8×51 FURY Hybrid Ammunition.

Army Brig. Gen. William Boruff is in charge of ramping up production. He was part of a news conference on April 20 outlining plans for ammunition production.

Boruff said the Lake City plant already has been providing 6.8mm ammunition for the prototyping phase for weapons development. However, he said Sig Sauer will produce most of the ammunition needed by the Army for the next three to five years while the Army’s manufacturing operation in Independence prepares to take over mass production.