U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today Conference Committee approval of Fiscal Year 2002 funding for Huntsville defense programs.
Sen. Shelby said, "I am very pleased that the Conference Committee approved funding for these important Huntsville defense-related programs. They are critical to the stability of our nation's military infrastructure and readiness. Today's approval demonstrates our commitment to national security."
MASINT (MEASUREMENT AND SIGNATURE INTELLIGENCE)
Senator Shelby said, "The bill includes $5 million for a preliminary study of the completion of concept development, cost estimation, and design of the Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) Test, Evaluation, and Acquisition Support Center (MASINT/TEA) on Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. This center, along with its sister facility in West Virginia, will allow the U.S. intelligence community to integrate critical MASINT capabilities to better collect and analyze information that is important to fighting the war on terrorism and supports our broader U.S. national security objectives.
ATACMS and BAT PROGRAMS
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased that the Conference included a total of $86.3 million for ATACMS and ATACMS Block II procurement and $123.9 million in funding for the Brilliant Anti-Armor Submunition (BAT). These programs are important to the Army and to the Huntsville community."
BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the Conference has provided $7.8 billion for ballistic missile defense activities. This funding is critical to support the effort to test and field a national missile defense system."
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the Conference has included $736.6 million for procurement of 72 PAC-3 missiles as well as $129.1 million for on-going research, development, testing and evaluation funding in support of the Patriot PAC-3 missile defense system. This system will provide a critical force protection element on the battlefield. It is very important to our soldiers on the battlefield and to many of my constituents in Alabama."
THEATER HIGH-ALTITUDE AREA DEFENSE SYSTEM (THAAD)
Senator Shelby said, "This bill includes $872.5 million for the THAAD system. It is very important that the Committee continues to support this critical program, and I am very pleased we have acted to increase funding for the THAAD program."
Senator Shelby said, "This bill provides $787.9 million for continuing development of the Comanche helicopter. This is a revolutionary airframe that, once fielded, will give our Army Aviators a wider array of tools and military options than they have ever had before. The Comanche helicopter is critical to the Army’s Transformation effort and important to many of my constituents in Alabama."
ADVANCED RESEARCH CENTER
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the Conference included $15 million for the United States Space and Missile Defense Command Advanced Research Center (SMDC ARC). The ARC is a unique and powerful resource that many government and civilian experts use to do vital theater and national missile defense modeling and simulations. The ARC is instrumental to the success of our missile defense modeling and simulations programs.