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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2005

Schumer, Clinton: Congressional Panel Backs $16.5 Million For Defense Projects To Benefit The Capital Region

Schumer, Clinton: Defense Projects are Vitally Important for the New York State Economy and National Security

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that the joint House and Senate Conference Committee approved $16.5 million in the FY06 Defense Department Appropriations bill for projects to benefit the Capital Region. The House has approved the bill. The Senate is expected to work on the Defense Appropriations Bill this week. If the bill is passed, it will be sent to the President for his signature.

Projects to be funded under the bill include $3 million for the Arsenal Support Program Initiative at Watervliet Aresenal; $2 million for the Advanced Technology Lightweight Armament System-Rarefaction Wave Gun (ATLAS-Raven) by Benet Labs; $1 million for the Joint Manufacturing Technology Center at Benet Labs; $2 million for the Smart Machine Platform Initiative by Benet Labs and Techsolve; $2 million for Plug Power’s Fuel Cell Development for Continuous Operation of Government project; $3.5 million for High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) Generators for Navy All-Electric Ships by Superpower; $1.8 million for the Functionally Reactive Surfaces Technology Program at Starfire; and $1.2 million for SUNY Albany Center of Excellence for Nanotechnology Secure Advanced Fabrication Facility for Electronics (SAFFE) "National Secure Foundry" Initiative.

"This is great news for the Capitol Region," said Schumer. "Additional funds will not only boost the area economy, but also put the Capitol Region and New York State at the forefront of defense technology. As the men and women of our military bravely serve our country all over the world, the funding for these Capitol Region defense projects will vastly improve national security technology and will give our armed forces an even greater edge."

“The Capital Region has already proven to the world its leadership in cutting-edge defense research and technology,” Senator Clinton said. “This new funding will help protect our troops, both at home and abroad, and is an important investment in our local companies and the communities they support.” $3 million in federal funds is slated for Arsenal Support Program Initiative ASPI programs at Watervliet Arsenal. The purpose of the ASPI is to help maintain the viability of Army manufacturing arsenals and the unique capabilities of these arsenals in supporting the national security interests of the United States. ASPI funds are used by the arsenal to market its unused space - and its potential - to private contractors. The Watervliet Arsenal has used this funding in the past to make significant improvements to the buildings and roads at the site. This has been key to attracting at least fourteen new companies and dozens of new jobs to the site.

$2 million in federal funds will go to Benet Labs for the ATLAS-Raven project. This system supports the goal of developing an ultra-lightweight combat vehicle that will significantly enhance the ability of all services to rapidly deploy to trouble spots worldwide. The ATLAS system will provide the enabling technologies for unprecedented reductions (50%) in the weight of large caliber high muzzle energy cannons. These weight reductions in the gun system will in-turn bring the vehicle weight well under the 14-ton limit required for air transportability. Benet Labs is located within the Watervliet Arsenal. In addition, $1 million in federal funds will go to Benet Laboratories – ATT Joint Manufacturing Technology Center. The funding will be dedicated specifically for accelerating the development and implementation of advanced materials, technologies, and designs for Department of Defense (DoD) legacy and emerging weapon systems. The Joint Manufacturing Technology Center (JMTC) fulfills a critical national demand for an interdisciplinary approach to unite academic research and industrial know-how to solve complex problems in advanced materials development and manufacturing technology.

Also, $2 million in federal funds will go to Benet Weapons Lab and Tech Solve Smart Machine Platform Initiative. For the Army, the DoD and the US industrial sector, it is critical that components can be fabricated domestically both for development and production needs in a timely and affordable manner. Though capable of operating more quickly and more precisely than that of earlier generations, the productivity of today’s machine tools is still bound by the same inability to extend beyond basic execution of instructions. The next generation of machinery must not only execute instructions, they must also possess complex internal sensing and control systems to create instructions and integrate them, in real time, into manufacturing processes. The Smart Machine Platform Initiative is designed to develop these systems and TechSolve’s Ohio Team partnering with Benet Weapons Lab will work to this end.

$2 million in federal funds will go to Plug Power to support efforts to develop fuel cells for Continuity of Government. DOD is required to have an effective Defense Continuity Program (DCP) to ensure mission critical functions continue despite any potential enemy threats or attacks. Continuous run, distributed power in disperse locations, is a significant component of any DCP. This program will develop and optimize fuel cell systems for these DCP applications, and begin demonstration and evaluation in distributed sites, culminating in an extensive report evaluating fuel cell ability to meet Defense Continuity requirements. Such a demonstration will help to illustrate the vital role that fuel cells can play in providing distributed power generation and reliable back up power in the event of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or grid failure. Plug Power is a founding member of New Energy New York.

$3.5 million in federal funds will go to Superpower for the HTS Generators for Navy All-Electric Ships. The Navy has made a decision to implement electric drive on its next class of surface combat ships, and to examine the use of all-electric power systems in other ships and submarines. The all-electronic design will enable electric warships to quickly divert a ship's propulsion power for use by state-of-the-art electrical weapons and advanced long-range sensors. Second generation high temperature super-conducting wire has the potential to revolutionize this and a variety of other military applications where high power density, as well as reduced size and weight, at reasonable cost is absolutely essential. Although dramatically smaller and lighter than conventional generators, HTS generators can produce an equivalent amount of electrical power. The reduced size of HTS generators is of particular relevance to the All-Electric ship because it allows increased flexibility in ship architecture, enhanced power density, and transient response, improving overall ship performance and survivability. Superpower is a founding member of New Energy New York.

$1.8 in federal funds will go to Starfire Systems, Inc., Functionally Reactive Surfaces Technology Program. The 2006 program will demonstrate a textile patch hybrid circuit that will support the integration and control of diverse technologies such as temperature sensors, chemical sensors, active features for physical comfort and a textile-based rechargeable battery, all integrated into a fire protective textile garment for both soldiers and domestic first responders. The patch and the associated array of fabric sensors are required to field an intelligent uniform that will monitor both the health of the soldier and the threats in the environment (Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, etc.). The limiting factors that prevent this capability today are the lack of miniaturized wearable electronic components (actuators, sensors, communication, and microcontrollers) which are also prime objectives of the Future Force Warrior (FFW) vision. The individual sensor, integral power, and active fabric technologies all need to be integrated, monitored wirelessly, and be intelligently controlled by an electronic circuit using minimal power. The goal of this project is to demonstrate an ultra-microminiaturized hybrid circuit and packaging technology that will enable this integration and combination of multiple sensors and control logic into a robust silicon carbide board based package the size of a postage stamp.

$1.2 million in federal funds will go to SUNY Albany Center of Excellence for Nanotechnology Secure Advanced Fabrication Facility for Electronics (SAFFE) "National Secure Foundry" Initiative. The project is a timely concept for the creation of a fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, nanoelectronics R&D facility to serve as a unique platform for formulation and demonstration of nanotechnology innovations for national defense applications. SAEFF is designed to provide strategic support to critical national defense and security needs through the establishment of a secure, ready and responsive R&D “foundry” for the successful development of 32nm nanoscale computer chip technology and beyond. As such, SAEFF leverages combined resources from industry, government, and university to create a most effective consortium for enacting the U.S. nanoelectronics defense industry technology roadmap.


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