HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting, MAC opened its business with a bang as gunshots rang out.
MAC Chairman Robert Gagne' said, "That was our ribbon cutting."
MAC produces a light weight 50 caliber bullet for machine guns. The ammunition is made of a high tech plastic polymer casing.
"In about 1960, our military tried to really focus on reducing the load for our military men and women. After 50 years of development, the soldiers are still carrying too much stuff," said MAC President Nick Maljkovic. "It didn't change a whole lot. In fact, the regular basic combat load for an infantry man is about 90 pounds. And about a third of that is ammunition."
"The U.S. Army has been trying to make lightweight ammunition for 40 years, and there has been absolutely no success," Gagne' said.
The MAC bullets weigh in at a little more than 2 ounces. Conventional brass rounds used today are about 4 ounces.
Maljkovic said, "You get to save between a quarter to over 35 percent of weight that our men and women would have to carry."
The plant has several high tech production areas as well as a live fire testing facility.
Sen. Thad Cochran,(R) Mississippi said, "It's a bold statement and a confident statement about the economic future of our state, the decision to locate this facility here. This facility will be capable of producing up to five million rounds annually, enough to fill most of the Marine Corps 50 caliber requirement."
Senator Cochran says MAC makes it a win-win situation for our soldiers and Hancock County.
"In order for this break through technology to be accepted and purchased by the Marine Corps, approximately one million rounds must be manufactured and tested," Cochran said. "We're committed to getting this ammunition in the guns of our war fighters in Afghanistan, Iraq and other hot spots around the globe as soon as possible."
A two and a half million dollar Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funded renovation work on the Katrina damaged building MAC now occupies.