Constellium gets $9.5M Defense Department grant

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (WTAP) - A Jackson County, West Virginia, aluminum manufacturer has received a $9.5 million grant from the U.S. Defense Department that will allow it to modernize equipment used to make armored plates that help protect military vehicles.

Constellium, located in Ravenswood, said it will use the money to upgrade electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems at the plant's 144-inch mill for cold rolled aluminum.

"This investment by the Department of Defense will enable us to meet the increased demand for cold rolled plate over the next five to 10 years and also significantly improve the performance of armor against constantly evolving threats, Buddy Stemple, CEO of Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, said in a news release. "We are very excited to have this opportunity to help protect our troops."

The news release said the mill is critically important for the manufacture of "high-performance aluminum plate for ballistic and blast protection of military vehicles."

The grant will be managed by the Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, said the grant means the company will be able to expand and bring in more business.