Nov 09 2007

Shelby Announces Defense Funding for the Wiregrass

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced Senate approval of the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008.  This legislation, which includes a number of projects for the Wiregrass, will now be sent to the President for his consideration.

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

Javelin Missile -- $168 million

“The Defense Appropriations bill included $168 million to procure 385 Javelin missiles for the Army,” said Shelby.  “Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical tactical fire capability. Produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, these missiles keep our servicemembers safe and keep Alabama’s economy strong.” 

Hellfire Missile -- $46 million

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

Non-Line-of Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) -- $255 million

“The Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System is a program focused on beyond line-of-sight fires for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS),” said Shelby.  “The NLOS-LS program is a containerized, platform-independent multi-mission weapon concept that will serve as an enabling technology element for the FCS.  The NLOS-LS provides rapid response and lethality in packages requiring significantly fewer personnel, decreased logistical support and lower life-cycle costs, while increasing survivability compared to current direct fire gun and missile artillery.”

Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) -- $137.8 million

“The Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon provides networked, extended-range targeting and precision attack in support of the warfighter with a suite of munitions that include special purpose capabilities,” said Shelby.  “The NLOS-C provides sustained fires for close support and destructive fires for tactical standoff engagement.  I believe this project is vital for the warfighter.”

Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missle (JASSM) -- $161.1 million

“The bill provides $161.1 million for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) for the Air Force and 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.”

JASSM is produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy.

Army Helicopters

“The fiscal year 2008 Defense Appropriations bill includes funding for a number of helicopter systems vital to the Army, and the mission at Fort Rucker and in the Wiregrass region,” said Shelby.

The following airframes were included:

$673.1 million for modifications to the AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter;
$770.8 million for procurement of 52 UH-60 Blackhawks;
$230.5 million for procurement of the Light Utility Helicopters (LUH);
$540.7 million for modifications to the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter;
$175.8 million for 12 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters (ARH);
Joint Air-to-Ground (JAGM) Missile -- $53.5 million

“I am pleased that research and development 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.” 

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 services in years to come.

Novel Zinc Air Power Sources for Military Applications – $2 million

“Zinc Air technology provides the soldier with a high energy density power source that reduces battery carry weight by 50% and enables long duration missions by extending equipment run times up to 700%,” said Shelby.  “It lowers operational risk by reducing the need for re-supply, reduces cost per mission by 30% and eliminates hazmat concerns.  I am pleased to see this funding included as part of the bill.”

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

“The DoD Appropriations bill includes, for a third year, language that prohibits the transfer of research & development, acquisition or program authority relating to tactical UAVs from the Army,” said Shelby.  “The language ensures that the Army will retain responsibility for an operational control of the Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) 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.  During my visit to Iraq in August, I discussed the ongoing debate concerning Executive Agency for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) with our battlefield commanders.  They agreed that the Army needs to maintain control of their UAS assets because, from a tactical standpoint, our soldiers in the field need a versatile, service specific capability.”

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