Shelby announces defense funding for north Alabama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shelby announces defense funding for north Alabama

WASHINGTON, DC Tuesday, September 11, 2007 -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced subcommittee approval of important funding for North Alabama included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2008. Following today's action by the subcommittee, this bill will go to full committee for consideration on Wednesday.

"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 Senate's approval demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and the strength of our military.  Having just returned from Iraq, I know these programs will prove beneficial as we continue the fight against terrorism.  In total, this bill provides $459.3 billion for defense-related needs."

Missile Defense Agency (MDA) -- $8.5 billion

"The need for a robust national missile defense has never been more apparent than it is today," said Shelby.  "Threats from rogue nations that seek to do America and her allies harm must be countered.  This funding will help ensure the safety and security of our country."  

The following projects are part of the $8.5 billion included for the MDA:

  • Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) -- $2.318 billion 

"Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) is the first line of defense deployed to defend our homeland against ballistic missile attacks by rogue nations or terrorist organizations," said Shelby.  "There are many other countries out there that wish to do us harm and GMD is an effective way to stop them." 

  

The bill provides an additional $50 million for test infrastructure and operations support. 

  • Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) -- $197.5 million

"The Kinetic Energy Interceptor is a vital component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, which must be strong during this time of war," said Shelby.  "While the program was reduced by $30 million, I am confident KEI will continue development on schedule, as the recent successful Stage 1 rocket motor test illustrates."

  • Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) -- $221.2 million

"The MKV enhances the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system by providing as many opportunities as possible to destroy an incoming missile through the use of several kill vehicles launched from one booster," said Shelby.  "While we have not needed it yet, our strong missile defense system is one of our military's most important functions in keeping the homeland secure and deterring those who threaten us." 

Patriot PAC-3 -- $208 million

"The PAC-3 procurement program was fully funded, allowing the military to procure 108 Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3) missiles," said Shelby.  "This system will provide a critical force protection element on the battlefield."

Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) -- $1.167 billion

"The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle is built at Boeing's facility in Decatur and serves as the Air Force's space lift modernization program," said Shelby.  "EELV improves our nation's access to space by making space launch vehicles more affordable and reliable, and keeps many of Alabama's workers on the job." 

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) -- $230.5 million

"The primary mission for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is to provide aerial transport for logistical and administrative support," said Shelby.  "The LUH is intended to replace Vietnam era UH-1H Huey and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.  Our bill includes $230.5 million for the procurement of LUH, which is managed at Redstone Arsenal."  

Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) -- $242.3 million

"The Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), which is managed at Redstone Arsenal, provides the military with a highly deployable, reconnaissance and security capability to replace the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior fleet," said Shelby." 

The bill includes funding for the procurement of 16 helicopters.

  

Future Combat System (FCS) -- $3.107 billion

"Future Combat Systems (FCS), the core building block of the U.S. Army's Future Force, is a joint networked combat and combat-support system that provides our soldiers with greater situational awareness so they can see first, understand first, and act first," said Shelby.  "FCS is integral to equipping the warfighter with the most technologically advanced weapons system."

In addition, this bill includes $255 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) and $138 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) which are vital components to the Future Combat System.

Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) -- $41.7 million

"The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon's (AHW) boost/glide concept will play a pivotal role in the defense of our nation for years to come," said Shelby.  "The concept behind AHW will enable this weapon to do great things for our men and women in uniform as they fight for our nation." 

Joint Air-to-Ground (JAGM) Missile -- $53.5 million

"I am pleased that research and development are fully funded for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (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.

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 and 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 recent visit to Iraq, 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.

Software Engineering Enhancements - $3 million

"The Software Engineering Directorate at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center provides life cycle systems engineering and software development and testing for all Army aviation, missile, missile defense and joint interoperability systems," said Shelby.  "The Software Engineering Enhancements program will develop a capability to standardize software products for fielded systems to be applied within current operational framework to support the rapid development of high quality software critical to supporting our forces with weapons that work."

Integrated Aircraft Testbed - $2 million

"Army ongoing modernization, modularity, unit transformation and resource levels coupled with the high tempo of current military operations require an innovative approach to fielding new technology as well as implementing technology spirals onto fielded systems," said Shelby.  "The Integrated Aircraft Test Bed at Redstone Arsenal establishes an integration asset for much needed capabilities to meet army aviation's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter objective requirements and the Global War on Terror persistent surveillance capabilities."

Tactical Overwatch High Altitude System (TOHAS) - $2 million

"There is an immediate need for a weapons-fire detection capability to build upon the successful U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command's Overwatch sensor," said Shelby.  "TOHAS will augment the focal plane resolution, increase the processing capability to accommodate higher data rates and develop atmospheric filtering for high-altitude operation.  These modifications will result in a high altitude sensor supporting real-time targeting and battle damage assessment to all battlefield levels."

Low Cost Interceptor (LCI) - $5 million

"The Low Cost Interceptor is a technology integration effort to take existing, mature, off-the-shelf technologies and modify them to provide a low-cost means of defending against proliferation of unsophisticated air-breathing threats," said Shelby.  "The LCI weapon enhances the U.S. posture against the lower sophisticated cruise missiles and provides significant cost-per-kill and operational savings."

Vehicle Health Management Systems Development - $4 million

"This funding will develop a multi-platform vehicle health management and condition-based maintenance program," said Shelby.  "The Vehicle Health Management Systems Development program will accelerate both hardware and software design and validation of equipment to accelerate the fielding of these concepts into the Army's current ground forces." 

  

Army Missile and Space Technology Initiative - $5 million

"This program will help strengthen U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command's (SMDC) position as the leader in Ballistic Missile Defense technology," said Shelby.  "The Army Missile and Space Technology Initiative represents a comprehensive research program to keep pace with emerging threats, support Ballistic Missile Defense technology development and maintain our nation's technological superiority."

Army Virtual Emergency Research Testbed (AVERT) - $3 million

"A critical training shortfall exists in the response to catastrophic events between government and military agencies," said Shelby.  "AVERT will provide simulation applications, allowing for lower costs in terrorist response training, as well as offering first responder exercises to improve interoperability and communication among state and local agencies, FEMA and the military during natural disasters."

Advanced Hypersonic Weapon Battle Management Command and Control Hardware-in-the-loop Technology Demonstration - $3 million

"The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon program is a boost-guide initiative to provide the military with a prompt global strike capability to destroy time sensitive and high value targets anywhere around the globe within one hour of an order to attack," said Shelby.

Missile Aero-propulsion Computer System (MACS) Modernization - $6 million

"MACS is a highly flexible, re-configurable, computational testbed facility that serves as a key research, development, test, and evaluation capability for the U.S. Army Air and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC)," said Shelby.  "This funding will modernize legacy software codes and replace aged equipment to maximize performance and efficiency in direct support for the AMRDEC missile and aviation research programs."

160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment - Automated ID Technology Life Cycle Asset Management - $3 million

"Current manual record keeping procedures for aviation equipment are prone to entry errors and misplaced records, resulting in higher labor costs, lack of reliable maintenance records and status, lack of visibility of equipment within the depot repair and overhaul cycle, and increased materiel acquisition funding for repair and replacement," said Shelby.  "The Automated ID Technology Life Cycle Asset Management program will improve maintenance record keeping by eliminating recording errors on components' maintenance status, reduce aircraft downtime, allow more accurate diagnostics and enhanced prognostics, and focus repairs to specific problem areas."

Communications Enhancements to Fielded TACTI-NET Systems - $1 million

"At the tactical level, actionable intelligence is an absolute necessity for counter-terrorist operations to successfully target and disrupt terrorist activities and save U.S. lives," said Shelby.  "This program will enhance currently fielded TACTI-NET communication devices by expanding its current network capabilities, range and transmission security for real-time voice, data and video services from the individual soldier to the Commander."

Quick-Material Express Delivery System (Quick-MEDS) Automated Release Pod - $2 million

"Quick-MEDS is designed to deliver critically needed supplies to our troops from unmanned aerial vehicles," said Shelby. "This system releases autonomously, guides to a point directly over the intended recipient and deploys a parachute to decelerate the pod prior to ground impact allowing for the delivery of needed medicines and supplies to our isolated troops in a timely manner." 

Joint Biological Stand-Off Detection System - $4 million

"The Joint Biological Stand-Off Detection System provides the Air Force and Army with standoff detection, ranging, tracking and discrimination of biological warfare aerosol clouds to protect our military forces," said Shelby.

Missile-Related Threat Representation - Shared - $2 million

"This project will facilitate intelligence sharing and support U.S. combat operations by building upon past investments to expand the number of threat systems to include additional ones needed to represent the threat to U.S. air campaigns as well as counter-terrorist activities around airfields worldwide," said Shelby. 

Enhanced Rapid Tactical Integration and Fielding of Systems - $2 million

"The Aviation Systems Integration Facility is an advanced integration and simulation capability that enables the Army aviation research and development community to evaluate critical functional technologies," said Shelby.  "The Enhanced Rapid Tactical Integration and Fielding of Systems will create expanded integration linkages to rapidly assess emerging warfighting technologies.  This initiative will significantly improve the military utility of the existing Aviation Systems Integration Facility by establishing an integration environment that supports collaborative interoperability." 

Future TOC Hardware/Software Integration - $2 million

"The Future TOC Hardware/Software Integration plays a vital role in the Global War on Terror by automating and accelerating the distribution of meaningful tools and data necessary to support the warfighter, understand the enemy, and increase the pace of battle," said Shelby.  "It does so by integrating all space requirements so the user will be able to view and analyze the impacts of assets, capabilities and threats as part of the normal planning process.  It will also enhance current U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Future Warfare Center Battle Lab products to support joint global battlefield planning and execution." 

Space Control Test Capabilities (SCTC) - $5 million

"There is a need to develop a cost assessment tool to test space control systems in a simulated environment before costly hardware development begins," said Shelby.  "SCTC provides a method of analyzing requirements and operational feasibility of space control systems during the research and development phase to allow the operator to quickly and inexpensively study changes made to any element of a command and control process and understand the ramifications of modifications."

Radiation Hardening Technology - $2 million

"The integrated radiation hardening products will encapsulate a comprehensive radiation hardening design approach that predicts mission performance and system cost while concurrently considering radiation hardening components in concert with multiple physical design factors," said Shelby. 

Integrated Nanosat Delivery System - $3 million

"The primary objective of the Integrated Nanosat Delivery System program is to develop a low cost, rapid response, delivery capability for small payloads," said Shelby.  "This program would permit the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command to have a rapid, affordable, operationally responsive space capacity." 

Unmanned Systems Technology Development -- $2 million

"Unmanned Systems Technology Development focuses resources on the development of technology needed to advance the combat utility of unmanned platforms, which have seen increasing combat use for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition," said Shelby. 

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