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CUBRC, A Buffalo-Based Independent Not-For-Profit Research Entity, Depends On DOD’s Advanced Tech Development Program For Its Large Energy National Shock Tunnel II (LENS II) Complex

After DOD Informed CUBRC Over $11 Million In Appropriated Funding Would Be Arriving Up To 6 Months Late, Schumer Leapt Into Action; Senator Today Announces Sorely-Needed Funding Would Be Sent To CUBRC On Expedited Timeline

Schumer: Funding Keeps CUBRC’s Cutting-Edge Work On Schedule And Helps U.S. Hypersonic Research And Testing Keep Pace With International Competitors

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced, following his advocacy, that he successfully helped CUBRC in Buffalo secure $6 million in previously-appropriated Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Department of Defense (DOD) funding that had been delayed for bureaucratic reasons. This success sets a schedule for CUBRC to receive the remainder of its FY19 funding on time and without more delay.

Schumer explained that even though Congress passed $16 million in funding for CUBRC to construct its Large Energy National Shock Tunnel II (LENS II), used for the testing of hypersonic systems for the U.S. military, DOD had told the company the majority of funding would be delayed up to six months because of lengthy contracting processes and budgeting complications. To ensure that CUBRC would be able to move forward with the construction of LENS II on a timely schedule, Schumer urged DOD to release the funding. Today, Schumer announced that DOD had heeded his request by immediately placing $6 million in funding on contract, and committing to deliver the remaining funds before the end of the year.

“CUBRC is the only facility in the nation with the ability to test hypersonic weapons systems at such high levels of complexity and velocity, and it is a critical part of both Western New York’s innovation economy and our national security. But with international competitors like China and Russia right on our heels when it comes to this burgeoning field, CUBRC can’t afford any delay in receiving the DOD funding it depends on for this cutting-edge work,” said Senator Schumer. “Fortunately, after speaking with top brass at DOD, we’ve cut through the bureaucratic red tape and CUBRC will be receiving the rest of its hard-earned funding in short order. To win the global race on innovation in hypersonic technologies and weapons and support good-paying, high-tech jobs in Western New York, we must ensure that CUBRC has all of the resources it needs to stay both operational and ahead of the curve.”

“We’re eternally grateful for Senator Schumer’s constant support,” said Thomas McMahon, CEO of CUBRC. “This critical funding will allow CUBRC to continue the groundbreaking work that has enabled us to craft a world-class operation and make Western New York the country’s premier center of hypersonic research.”

CUBRC, in its current form, was established in 1983 to find technological advancements for its customers, particularly the U.S. military, through an array of research, development, testing and systems integration projects. As an organization, CUBRC dates back to the 1950s and its facilities and staff have played a key role in the development of the Gemini and Apollo space capsules, as well as development and testing of the Space Shuttle and many other manned and unmanned space vehicles. Their scientists are national assets and are honing the cutting edge of high enthalpy hypersonic research, playing a crucial role in the national defense strategy. The LENS facility consists of four shock tunnels that enable hypersonic aerodynamic flow tests, at fully-duplicated flight conditions, using full-scale vehicles, which has played a critical role in DOD’s study of hypersonic vehicles and interceptors.

Senator Schumer has long fought on behalf of the Buffalo-based CUBRC. In 2015, Schumer announced that the Omnibus spending bill included $91 million in funding for the Department of Defense’s Test and Evaluation/Science and Technology (T&E/S&T) program, an increase of roughly $9 million over 2015’s levels.  Senator Schumer also secured $16M for CUBRC’s LENS in the same T&E/S&T program in the FY18 Defense budget. Last March, Schumer toured CUBRC with Dr. Michael D. Griffin, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and former NASA administrator, and called on DOD to make Western New York and CUBRC the national epicenter of hypersonic systems development by supporting boosted funding levels for the organization.