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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2007

Schumer, Clinton Announce Key Senate Panel Approval of $20 Million in Defense Funding for the Southern Tier


Funds included in Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill

Washington, DC – Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed approval by the Senate Appropriations Committee of the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, which includes $20 million for the Southern Tier, including, $2 million for Binghamton University’s Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM), $5 million for Dresser-Rand’s Advanced Steam Turbine, $4 million for L-3 Communications’ Predator Aircrew Mission Training System (PMATS) Upgrade, and $9 million for Rockwell Collins’ Global Air Traffic Management Program for KC-135’s. The bill also includes $270.971 million, as requested in the President’s Budget, for Lockheed Martin’s development of the new Marine One helicopter fleet.

The bill will now proceed to the Senate floor for consideration. Following consideration and passage on the Senate floor, the bill will head into a Conference Committee where the House and Senate will resolve the differences between their versions. 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 wonderful news for the Southern Tier,” said Schumer. “These critical funds will help us ensure that in defending our nation, we are equipped with the most cutting-edge technology and know-how. All of the institutions awarded here are doing research and work that will boost both our nation’s defense forces and the Southern Tier economy. And it demonstrates what I have always said: upstate New York has some of the best educated, highly skilled workers anywhere. I will continue to aggressively push this bill through the appropriations process.”

“This is wonderful news for the Southern Tier. As these local companies and institutions continue to build their capacity in support of our men and women in uniform, so too they build the reputation of the region and their own role in support of the local economy. This is an important investment in the Southern Tier for many reasons – not only are we supporting our troops serving overseas and at home, but we are also investing in local technology, local jobs, and the region’s reputation for cutting edge research and development. I look forward to the bill’s approval by the full Senate,” Senator Clinton said.

Binghamton University – Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM) - $2 Million
Funding will be used to continue development of new, flexible and low-cost electronics based on roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing technologies to enhance U.S. military superiority, while strengthening our nation’s role as a global technology leader. Advancements in the underlying materials and manufacturing technology for flexible, organic and printed electronics components and devices are critical for visionary applications related to the military and to national security. Extensive communications capability, enhanced power sources, extensive sensors deployment for threat detection and health monitoring, and active body armor and camouflage will prove important to the future warfighter. These developments are critical to make the future warrior more mobile, more lethal and more secure.

Dresser-Rand – Advanced Steam Turbine - $5 Million
Funding will be used to develop a steam turbine that can be used on the existing Virginia Class and future submarines, which will meet or exceed the capability of the existing steam turbine. This advanced turbine is estimated to reduce the cost the Navy is paying today by as much as 40 percent, and through improved efficiencies will provide Navy a turbine with more Effective Full Power Hours (EFPH) during its life.

L-3 Communications – Predator Aircrew Mission Training System (PMATS) Upgrade - $4 Million
The United States Air Force has fielded Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles operating in combat today, and is now fielding its first major upgrade, the MQ-9 "Reaper". This project will build a Predator Aircrew Mission Training System simulator for the Reaper. Funding will help to upgrade engineering, performance, visual system and sensors.

Rockwell Collins – Global Air Traffic Management Program for KC-135’s - $9 Million
Aircraft equipped with the required systems will have the operational advantage of choosing the most efficient and economical routes of flight, as well as continued access to airspace that is now regularly used in DoD world-wide operations. While operational access to airspace was important to address the military commitments of the 1990’s, it has now reached a critical stage as the U.S. faces new challenges. It is imperative that the U.S. is capable of projecting airpower to any location via the most direct route. This is fundamental to having combat crews reach the target area with the most fuel and in the least fatigued condition possible.

Lockheed Martin - VH-71A Executive Helicopter Development - $270.971 million (As requested in the President’s Budget)
A new Marine One helicopter fleet is needed, as today’s security environment requires urgent upgrades to the presidential fleet’s security and defensive systems. The current VH-3D fleet has been in service for thirty plus years and is now at the end of its useful life, and also has insufficient payload capacity that will not allow the installation of additional communication and defensive equipment. The FY08 budget request of almost $271M will ensure the aircraft test program remains on track and that the program will meet its plan of delivering five aircraft with Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in late 2009, and eighteen Fully Operation Capable aircraft in 2015. Full funding of the FY08 budget request of is required to keep the program on schedule.


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