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Schumer Fought Tooth & Nail To Protect Vital Combat Rescue Helicopter Program That Supports Jobs In Southern Tier, Which Had Faced Major Potential Cuts; On Heels Of Delivering $400M+ For Helicopter Program, Senator Stands With Lockheed Workers To Highlight How Their Work Is Vital To America’s National Security

Building On His Bipartisan CHIPS & Science Law To Bolster National Security, Bring Chip Supply Chains Back To America, And Make NY #1 In Chips Industry, Schumer Announces New, Key Lockheed Martin Partnership With Intel To Incorporate Helicopters Made In Southern Tier With Next Generation Semiconductor Tech At The Plant

Schumer: America’s Troops & National Security Is Getting Stronger Thanks To Southern Tier’s Top-Notch Workforce

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today visited Lockheed Martin’s Owego plant, on the heels of delivering $400 million for its vital Combat Rescue Helicopter (CHR) program, which had faced major potential cuts in the last appropriations cycle to highlight the facility’s critical work to national security.

During the visit, Schumer announced a new federally-funded partnership between Lockheed Martin and Intel to bolster the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R, which are made in Owego with cutting edge semiconductor technology, bringing critical new work to the facility as the feds make major investments thanks to the senator’s CHIPS & Science Law. Schumer said as he continues to fight to deliver support for the Southern Tier’s top-notch defense workers, partnerships like these will be vital in laying the foundation for the plant to get in at the ground level of this critical area of technology for our national security.

“Lockheed Martin’s Owego facility has always been the height of defense manufacturing and, as Upstate NY sees a boom in semiconductor work from my CHIPS & Science Law, new partnerships like these will be vital for positioning the plant to lead in the future of technology for America’s national security. The feds, and particularly the Department of Defense, are making major investments in this area of technology and this partnership will prime Lockheed to compete for this work in the future. These two major players will take us to the next frontier of defense technology – bolstering our nation’s national security while supporting jobs in the Southern Tier,” said Senator Schumer. “I have always delivered for Lockheed Martin, and was the champion to protect the $400 million Combat Rescue Helicopters program which supports so many of our workers. Now our Southern Tier workers will be helping create the helicopters that keep our troops safe, and installing the microchips which power it all.  It is a win for America, a win for our workers, and a win for the Southern Tier. The sky is the limit for Lockheed’s Owego facility.”

“Senator Schumer has been a long-standing supporter of the employees and programs at Lockheed Martin’s Owego facility,” said Audrey Brady, Maritime Systems Vice President and Owego Site General Manager. “We greatly appreciate his unwavering support and thank him for his tireless efforts and advocacy on behalf of our site and our programs.”

Schumer explained the announcement of the new partnership comes just after he saved Lockheed’s vital Combat Rescue Helicopter Program from repeated attempts to cut the program in the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) defense appropriations bill. Schumer fought relentlessly for months and personally secured a whopping $400 million for the procurement of ten Combat Rescue Helicopters and $10 million for the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter program, both of which are built in Owego and support hundreds of jobs in the Southern Tier. Schumer said thanks to his efforts, not a dime was lost so Lockheed in the Southern Tier could continue to manufacture these critical helicopters.

Schumer said now, Lockheed is building on momentum with its Intel partnership and will install some of the most important defense technologies right in the Southern Tier with New York workers, protecting the 2,500 employees already employed by Lockheed preparing the company for future work. Thanks to Schumer’s relentless efforts to make the Southern Tier and Upstate NY a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing with incentives from his CHIPS & Science Law, Lockheed will pioneer the future of defense technology with their Intel partnership. Schumer explained the Lockheed-Intel partnership, which will support the Stimulating Transition for Advanced Microelectronics Packaging (STAMP) program, will bolster national security and Upstate New York’s advanced microelectronics ecosystem by developing revolutionary technology to identify threats with greater speed and accuracy. The program is under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, which has ramped up operations thanks to federal initiatives Schumer helped create in his CHIPS & Science Law.  

In particular, the effort will allow Lockheed Martin to develop the architecture for a more efficient and capable electronic warfare system on the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R multi-mission helicopter, using chips made my Intel, and combine multiple systems into one, all while decreasing the size, weight, and cost. Schumer said the MH-60R is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter and can be used for search and rescue, medical evacuation, as well as communications relay, and this technology will further bolster the helicopter’s capabilities to keep our troops safe. While the technology will mainly support these helicopters, Schumer said it will also likely have applications on other air, land, and sea defense systems – further boosting US security interests with Southern Tier-made advanced defense systems.

The initial program, which will take course over the next 18 months, will have Lockheed Martin develop and integrate its latest Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) aligned airborne electronic defense system technology with the intent to implement, test, and complete production through integration into the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R helicopter. At Lockheed’s Owego facility, workers will be developing next generation integrated systems, responsible for the design, and implementation of these cutting-edge domestically produced microelectronics. As a result, Lockheed Martin and its Southern Tier workers will be at the forefront revolutionizing defense systems that can identify threats with greater speed and accuracy, protecting military service members and providing them with key tactical advantages in the field.

Schumer said Lockheed Martin, which already develops and manufactures some of the most advanced defense and aerospace systems in the world, will reach the next frontier of innovation with this partnership and is even better positioned to help bolster domestic supply chains and strengthen US security interests, while building up the industries right in Upstate New York. The Lockheed Martin-Intel Corporation partnership is a direct result of the rapidly growing domestic chip ecosystem spurred by Schumer’s CHIPS and Science Law, and will create new opportunities for newly-designed and manufactured U.S chips to be utilized in national security applications while bringing vital defense manufacturing back to the Southern Tier. This effort also strategically positions Lockheed to contribute to the state’s growing semiconductor industry by developing new capabilities that utilize high-performance U.S.-built semiconductors and support the company’s thousands of good-paying defense manufacturing jobs in the Southern Tier. Schumer explained as the system is tested and proven, the company’s world-class workforce will be positioned to build and supply the next generation of electronic warfare systems for the U.S. service branches, keeping the Lockheed Martin’s Southern Tier operations at the forefront and well-positioned for new opportunities.

Schumer explained that the United States, which has developed and pioneered semiconductor technology, has for too long been reliant on foreign suppliers of semiconductors, placing both U.S. national and economic security at risk. Schumer has successfully pushed to limit the use of chips made in foreign countries of concern like China in supply chains for the DoD and elsewhere in the federal government to strengthen U.S. national security, supply chain resiliency, and leadership in the global microchip market. In the CHIPS & Science Law, Schumer made national security, domestic manufacturing, and supply chain resilience top priorities when considering awards for the $52 billion in new Commerce Department federal incentives.  

Schumer has a long history of supporting and sustaining the good-paying jobs for approximately 2,500 people at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Owego and has worked tirelessly to safeguard Department of Defense (DoD) programs that are the mainstays of the work for the Southern Tier facility. In 2023, Schumer announced a new partnership between Lockheed Martin and GlobalFoundries, a direct result of the expansion of domestic chip manufacturing spurred by his CHIPS and Science Act to advance U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and increase the security, reliability and resiliency of domestic supply chains for national security systems.

Schumer has been a nearly decades-long supporter of the Combat Rescue Program and Lockheed’s defense technologies. The Navy’s MH-60R has been a mainstay at Lockheed Martin Owego since 2007, when the company received a little over $1 billion from the U.S. Navy to produce and integrate mission systems for the helicopter. When the MH-60R program was under threat of being discontinued in 2018, Schumer secured nearly $400 million in the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) defense appropriations bill for additional U.S. Navy helicopters, which extended production and allowed Lockheed Martin in subsequent years to build helicopters for key U.S. allies such as Australia, Spain, Norway, and South Korea. Schumer has publicly supported the Combat Rescue Helicopter and MH-60R Seahawk programs for well over a decade, tirelessly advocating with top defense officials and appropriators to continue to secure funding for them, both of which Schumer noted support thousands of good-paying engineering, manufacturing, and production jobs across Upstate New York.

Furthermore, the Combat Rescue program has been a staple of the Southern Tier workforce and economy since 2014, when the United States Air Force (USAF) announced a $1.28 billion contract to Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin Owego to begin building a new fleet of combat rescue helicopters, used by USAF for combat search and rescue (CSAR), recovery of personnel from combat zones, and aeromedical evacuation. In addition to these crucial, staple helicopter programs, Lockheed Martin Owego also builds the VH-92A Patriot helicopter, which is made specifically to provide safe, secure, and reliable aerial transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States. From FY19 to FY21, Schumer was instrumental in delivering $1.86 billion in federal appropriations for the procurement of the entire fleet of 23 VH-92A helicopters.