Sep 14 2010

Shelby Announces Defense Funding for the Wiregrass

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Subcommittee approval of important funding for the Wiregrass included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2011. Following today’s action by the Subcommittee, this bill will go to the full Committee for consideration.

“The funding approved by the Subcommittee will support critical defense-related programs that strengthen our national security,” said Shelby.  “These programs are vital to the stability of our nation’s military infrastructure and readiness, and the Subcommittee’s approval demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and the strength of our military.

Javelin Missile - $163.7 million

Javelin is a portable missile that is utilized to defeat tanks and other heavy armor in the battlefield.  This capability enables our soldiers to have the highest firepower possible at their disposal.

“The Defense Appropriations bill includes $163.7 million to procure 715 Javelin missiles for the Army,” said Shelby.  “Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical tactical fire capability. Produced in Troy, these missiles keep our servicemembers safe and are an invaluable asset to our military operations.” 

Hellfire Missile - $1.6 billion

Hellfire is utilized for attack capability for our advanced aviation fleet.  This missile will defeat heavily armored equipment our enemies may employ.

“Hellfire missiles, produced in Troy, help to ensure that our military aviators are the best equipped warriors in the sky,” said Shelby.

Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) - $215.8 million

JASSM is an air to surface cruise missile that is guided by an infrared seeker in flight.  The Air Force manages this program and is expected to buy approximately 171 of these missiles.  JASSM is produced in Troy, Alabama.

“The bill provides funding for the procurement of JASSM for the Air Force and the Navy,” said Shelby.  “This long-range missile system is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended targets while its significant standoff range keeps our warfighters out of danger from enemy air defense systems.”

Joint Air-to-Ground (JAGM) Missile - $231.1 million

Designed as a next-generation, multipurpose replacement for the Hellfire, Longbow, and Maverick air-to-ground missiles currently used by the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, JAGM will be a vital asset for our armed forces in years to come.

“I am pleased that research and development initiatives are fully funded for the JAGM,” said Shelby.  “JAGM is essential because it will bolster our warfighting potential and provide our servicemen and women with a new capability to ward off the unconventional threats of the 21st century. I look forward to the contract being awarded in December.” 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

UAV research and development is conducted at Redstone Arsenal, and the Army UAV Center of Excellence is located at Ft. Rucker.

“The DoD Appropriations bill includes, for a sixth year, language that prohibits the transfer of program authority relating to tactical UAVs from the Army,” said Shelby.  “The language ensures that the Army will retain responsibility for and operational control of the Sky Warrior UAV.  With the Army conducting the vast majority of UAV operations in Iraq, it is imperative that control of UAV assets is kept with the battlefield commander to ensure that these assets are readily available to our troops who are deploying them for tactical missions.”

Army Helicopters

“A number of helicopter systems vital to the Army and its mission at Fort Rucker were included in the bill,” said Shelby. “I am pleased that the more than $5.6 billion was provided for Army aircraft procurement.”

The following airframes were included:

  • $396.7 million for modifications to the AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter;
  • $1.45 billion for the procurement of 84 UH-60 Black Hawks;
  • $310.2 million for the procurement of 50 Light Utility Helicopters;
  • $68.8 million for modifications to the CH-47 Chinook Helicopters;
  • $1.28 billion for the procurement of  46 CH-47 Chinook Helicopters.