CCDC Armaments Center


FLC Region

Security Lab



Building 93, 3rd Floor
Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000
United States

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Laboratory Representative


In 1977, the Government created the U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Center (ARRADCOM) to take charge of improving old and creating new weapons and munitions. ARRADCOM was located at Picatinny Arsenal in Northern New Jersey, a site in existence since 1880 as the Dover/Picatinny Powder Depot, later being renamed the Picatinny Arsenal by the Army in 2007.
In 1983, the Army disestablished ARRADCOM and placed its mission under its Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command (AMCCOM) at Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois. The bulk of weapons and munitions research and development remained at the Picatinny site, under the name of the U.S. Army Armament Resarch and Development Center (ARDC). In 1986, ARDC became ARDEC, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. The name remained the same despite the center's transfer from AMCCOM to the Tank-automotive and Armament Command (TACOM) in 1994 and to the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) in 2003.
Throughout the name changes, the organization retained the same mission: to develop high quality weapons and munitions for U.S. troops. ARDEC continues to be the U.S. Army's principle researcher, developer and sustainer of of current and future armament and munitions systems. The organization is comprised of other sites in addition to Picatinny Arsenal: Benet Laboratories at Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., Rock Island III.; Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; and Adelphi MD.

ARDEC, the largest tenant at Picatinny, provides the technology for over 90 percent of the Army's conventional lethality and a significant portion of all other Services' lethality through fully-integrated life-cycle engineering (from research and development to demilitarization). With synergy being maximized through the consolidation of Department of Defense (DOD) RDTE munitions, propellants and explosives functions, ARDEC is directly contributing to DOD's transformation efforts, and has numerous world-class and one-of a kind R&D facilities, utilities and the infrastructure in place to support additional joint missions and functions. Located in a high technology metropolitan area, near a multitude of industry and academic partners, it is easier to attract and retain strong science and engineering talent.

During 2007, ARDEC became the first DOD organization in history selected to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and is also the recipient of many other prestigious national awards that include the Presidential Award for Quality, two Army Communities of Excellence Awards and several Army Research and Development Organization of the Year Awards.
ARDEC-developed items, which proved their worth during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, included the warhead for the Patriot missile, the fire control systems and the ammunition for the Bradley fighting vehicle, the Abrams tank, and the laser guided Copperhead artillery projectile. These items were still in use 10 years later during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. ARDEC's Bunker Defeat Munition played a key role in Afghanistan. In addition, the XM107 sniper rifle, the 120mm M919 and M830 high explosive-multipurpose tank round, the M211 and M212 countermeasure flares, the M4 carbine, and several types of small arms ammunition and electric detonators were singled out and praised during the Iraqi fighting.


ARDEC's mission is to empower, unburden, and protect the Warfighter by providing superior armaments solutions that dominate the battlefield. ARDEC develops and maintains a customer-focused, world-class workforce that executes, manages, and continuously improves integrated life cycle engineering processes required for the research, development, production, field support, and demilitarization of weapons, munitions, fire control, and associated items. This includes improving already fielded items; developing new items; maintaining a strong armament technology base in government, industry, and academia; and providing technical support to soldiers in the field. Representative ARDEC programs exist in the following phases of the acquisition process: technology base, demonstration, development, production, and deployment. ARDEC's core mission areas are:
  • Advanced Weapons Systems
  • Fire Control
  • Advanced Energetics, Warheads, and Ammunition
  • Ammunition Logistics RDTE

The success in ARDEC's technology transfer program plays an important role in demonstrating ARDEC as a leader in technology innovation. ARDEC partners with a wide variety of organizations including industry, academia, and other government organizations to accelerate the development and transition of new and innovative technologies for the Warfighter. While the center's efforts are concentrated in major business areas, ARDEC is also making strategic investments in new business development areas. ARDEC's research investment has demonstrated commercial spin-off benefits for our nation's civilian economy as well.Under Homeland Defense, ARDEC has been working to exploit core competencies such as sensors, non- lethal systems, and knowledge management, as well as growth areas to include defeat of lethal mechanisms/IEDs, biometrics, and training of medical and tactical personnel. ARDEC also has numerous alliances with industry partners and academic institutions and has strategically partnered through "Master" CRADAs to advance technologies supporting the Future Force. A one-of-a-kind organization, ARDEC provides virtually all of the lethal mechanisms used in Army weapon systems and those of the other military services; there is no commercial or government equivalent.

ARDEC also uses technology transfer agreements such as CRADAs and TSAs to enable military industry to access the technology expertise and capabilities of ARDEC to support industry performance under DOD Acquisition Programs. DOD acquisition policy requires flow down of extensive management control tools that are new to ARDEC, as we have historically been the "buyer" rather than the "supplier". Earned Value Management (EVM) systems are just one example which is being implemented to improve management processes accordingly.

To maximize ARDEC effectiveness, well-designed protocols that expedite diverse tech transfer agreements have been developed, all of which advance the Center's ambitious strategic objectives: to provide the latest technology to today's warfighter and simultaneously support the complete transformation of the nation's future forces.

Through teaming with the Army's Program Executive Office community, Program Managers, and ARDEC research managers, a new group of stakeholders who previously had not used technology leveraging tools such as CRADAs, TSAs, or PLAs as part of their Defense Acquisition strategies has been developed. As a result, tech transfer from laboratory to marketplace is faster, less costly, and fully leverages ARDEC's own human resources and its R&D facilities. This unusual inclusive approach has greatly enhanced communication throughout ARDEC's T2 system, with program managers consulting with the ARDEC Technology Transfer Office well in advance of possible formal transfer to outside partners.
ARDEC partners with a wide variety of organizations including industry, academia and other Government organizations to accelerate the development and transition of new technologies for the warfighter. ARDEC's research investment has also demonstrated commercial spin-off benefits for the nation's civilian economy. Material science, manufacturing processes, virtual reality and simulation, image processing, and non-destructive testing are just a few of the capabilities available to the private sector.

Technology Disciplines

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Projectile launch detection system utilizing a continuous wave radio frequency signal to confirm muzzle exit (for fuse arming purposes)
Propelling charge support for a mortar cartridge (provides protection during storage, transportation and handling)
Protective Ballistic Shield
Protective packaging for blast and fragmentation mitigation (grenades primarily)
Pulsed laser heating simulation of thermal damage on coated surfaces
Pyrophoric materials and methods of making same
Pyrotechnic slide assembly (self destruct fuse suitable for all grenades)
Radar system having a ferroelectric phased array antenna operating with accurate, automatic environment-calibrated, electronic beam steering
Rail mounting apparatus
Rail sight mount


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Interior Ballistic Simulation Facility
Laser and Optics Lab
Lightweight 155mm Software Support Lab
Lubricants Laboratory
Mobile Instrumentation and Telemetry Receive Station
Molten Salt Deposition Facility
Mortar Fire Control System Integration Laboratory (SIL)
Nanotechnology and Characterization Laboratory
Nanotechnology Center
New Equipment Training Center-Satellite Facility



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