The former NWIRP Bristol is located in the city of Bristol, Sullivan County, Tennessee. Wooded ridges border NWIRP Bristol to the north and west. Several residential properties are located southwest of the site. The former NWIRP Bristol is located on approximately 100 acres of land comprised of industrial buildings, concrete driving and parking areas, as well as wooded areas. Major structures on the site include the main plant, administration building, former Missile Target Facility, and former Bristol Laboratories. Other features include the former industrial wastewater treatment plant, storm sewer outfall, cooling tower, and water tank.
The primary mission of NWIRP Bristol was the fabrication and assembly of components for various advanced missile systems. From 1954 to 1992 the plant produced missile targets, artillery/bomb fuses, and aircraft engine parts. Metal fabrication was a large part of the plant operation, occupying approximately half the production floor space. An electroplating shop, located along the east side of the main plant building, supported metal fabrication from 1954 to 1992. The industrial wastewater treatment plant, located outside the main plant building on the eastern side, treated the electroplating waste prior to effluent discharge to the storm sewer outfall. The Sperry Farragut Corporation conducted the original operations. The Raytheon Company assumed operation of the facility in 1957 and completed closeout of operations in 1999.