FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2006
Schumer, Clinton Welcome Additional Funding For Schweizer Aircraft’s Fire Scout Program
Funds included in amendment to Fiscal Year 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill
Washington, DC – Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed approval late yesterday of an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, which would add $10 million to the Schweizer Aircraft Company-U.S. Army MQ-8 Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) program. The bill originally contained $40.5 million requested in the President’s budget for the U.S. Army MQ-8 Fire Scout VTUAV. This $10 million will be in addition to the President’s request.
The amendment, which Senators Schumer and Clinton supported, was accepted into the bill being debated on the Senate floor. It is expected that the Senate will take up further consideration of the bill when it returns in September. Following the bill’s approval by the Senate, it will head into a Conference Committee where the House and Senate will resolve the differences between the two bills. Following conference, the bill will again be sent to the House and Senate for final approval, after which it will be sent to the President for his signature.
“This is funding will not only boost the areas economy, but also will keep the Southern Tier and New York State at the forefront of defense technology,” Senator Schumer said “Schweizer will continue to bring its expertise in unmanned aerial vehicle technology to meet challenges in the field of defense and disaster preparedness with the Fire Scout.”
“This is great news for Schweizer and for the Southern Tier. The additional $10 million will be a huge boost to this project and will help keep things on schedule. The positive impact of the Fire Scout at Schweizer has already been felt locally and I am thrilled that we can keep the momentum going with these additional funds. I will work to make sure these funds remain in the final bill,” Senator Clinton said.
Fire Scout is a Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) selected by the U.S. Army as the Class IV UAV for Future Combat System. The Army Commanders engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom often cite UAVs as a pressing need. This funding will be used to accelerate fielding of the Fire Scout. The Fire Scout is used for gathering intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data, as well as to designate targets for precision-guided munitions. This system provides situational awareness and real-time information to support the tactical commander’s mission requirements.