Life is a lot more uncertain today for hundreds of employees at a Fridley defense plant.
The plant’s owner has issued an immediate “stop work” order on a cannon once thought to be a weapon of the future.
We posted a few weeks ago that about 400 jobs at the BAE Systems plant in Fridley were at risk because of the Army’s decision to kill the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon. My colleague Mike Caputo followed up with a radio story for MPR News.
Last week the Defense Department made its intentions official.
That led to a new memo from BAE’s U.S. Combat Systems division ordering a stop to all work connected to the Army’s massive Future Combat Systems project, including the cannon.
The memo says about 1,000 people, including full-time employees, contractors, and consultants, have been ordered to stop working. It’s not clear, however, how many are Minnesota-based.
We expect to get specific information by the end of the day today on the practical effects of workers and contractors tied to the Fridley plant. We’ll pass it on as soon as we know.
If you’re connected at all to the plant, please email me and let me know what you’re hearing.
As we’ve pointed before, no military project is completely dead until Congress eliminates its funding. Even then, things can change. The Defense Department release notes it’s “working closely with the Congress to determine the appropriate path forward” for the cannon.