Jun 22 2004

*UPDATE*: SHELBY ANNOUNCES FULL COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF DEFENSE FUNDING FOR HUNTSVILLE

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced funding for Huntsville area projects included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2005. The bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and the Senate is expected to take action on the bill tomorrow.

Sen. Shelby said, "I am very pleased that the 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 passage demonstrates our commitment to national security."

BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE - GROUND-BASED MIDCOURSE SEGMENT

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the committee has provided $4.55 billion for midcourse defense segment programs, an increase of $163.5 million over the President's budget request. This funding is critical to support completion of the initial defensive operations with the fielding of the ballistic missile defense system testbed and to continue robust developmental and testing functions."

PATRIOT PAC-3 - MEADS

Senator Shelby said, "Our bill includes $328.5 million for research and development initiatives associated with PAC-3/MEADS. The committee has also approved $489 million to procure PAC-3 missiles. This system will provide a critical force protection element on the battlefield."

BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE - TERMINAL DEFENSE SEGMENT

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the committee has included $1.02 billion million for continued development of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), including an increase of $80 million for the Arrow Missile Defense programs. These programs are performing well and will provide our troops and international partners with defensive capability against long range missile threats."

ARMY AVIATION COLLABORATIVE ENGINEERING AND INTEGRATION TESTBED

Senator Shelby said, "This testbed will support the Army's efforts to capitalize on Comanche technologies to ensure that Army aviation remains at the forefront of technological advancement."

In summary, the committee directs the Army to develop a framework to establish an Aviation Collaborative Engineering and Integration Testbed with the goal of providing a critical link between the government-managed Aviation Research Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) at Redstone Arsenal and the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technical experts. This will provide a much-needed environment in which to evaluate the transfer of Comanche-developed components and other advanced technologies to Army aviation systems in direct support of emerging and future war fighter needs.

MOBILE TACTICAL HIGH-ENERGY LASER

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the committee has provided $15 million for the Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser. This program is being developed at Space and Missile Defense Command's Technical Center and will provide our armed forces with a defensive capability against tactical missile threats."

HYPERSONIC MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Senator Shelby said, "Our bill includes $21.3 million for the Army's Hypersonic Missile Technology (HMT) program. This center, housed within Space and Missile Defense Command Advanced Research Center (SMDC ARC), provides one of the most powerful computational tools in the world for ongoing research associated with hypersonic technologies. This facility will soon become the most unique and most powerful computational resource for modeling and simulations available to any government or civilian missile experts in the world."

Following full Appropriations Committee passage later today, the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2005 will head to the Senate floor for consideration.