Jul 17 2003

SENATE PASSES DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL: FUNDING FOR HUNTSVILLE PROJECTS INCLUDED

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that the Senate passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2004. Included in the bill is funding for Huntsville defense programs.

Sen. Shelby said, "I am very pleased that the Senate 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
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the Senate has provided $3.844 billion for midcourse defense segment programs, an increase of $231 million over the President's budget request. This funding is critical to support the effort to develop, test and field a national missile defense system."

PATRIOT PAC-3 - MEADS
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the Senate has approved $395.8 million for consolidated research and development initiatives associated with PAC-3/MEADS. The committee has also approved $561.6 million to procure PAC-3 missiles. 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."

RAH-66 COMANCHE
Senator Shelby said, "This bill provides $1.079 billion 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 Senate approved $10.6 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.

The Department of Defense Appropriations Bill will now go to a Conference Committee with members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.