Armed Services Committee Approves Nearly $579 Million for Rhode Island in Defense Authorization Bill
Senator Reed Secures Funding for Key Rhode Island Defense Projects
WASHINGTON, DC - The Senate Armed Services Committee today passed legislation to authorize $578.9 million in defense and military construction funding for Rhode Island that U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) requested as part of the Department of Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal year 2008. These resources are in addition to the funds proposed under the Department of Defense's budget. "This funding will provide our brave men and women in uniform with the resources they need to remain the world's greatest fighting force," said Reed, a senior member of the committee and the Chairman of the Emerging Threats Subcommittee. "It will also help create manufacturing and technology jobs in Rhode Island and ensure that Rhode Island's defense industry remains on the cutting edge. This funding acknowledges the valuable contribution Rhode Island companies and workers make towards keeping our national defense strong." Rhode Island's defense industry employs about 16,000 people throughout the state and contributes $1.6 billion annually to the local economy. Reed noted the bill includes $470 million for procurement of additional equipment and materials for the Virginia class submarine. "The Virginia class submarine is a critical component of our nation's national defense capabilities, and Rhode Island plays a vital role in its construction," said Reed. "This funding will help ensure that it remains up to date, and will also establish a framework for future submarine development." This bill also provides a 3.5 percent across-the-board pay raise for all uniformed personnel and adds $4 billion to the President's budget for mine resistant vehicles to protect our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that the bill has been approved by the Armed Services Committee, it goes to the full Senate for consideration. Under the Congressional budget process, once the authorizations are in place, funding for the agencies, programs, or activities is then provided separately in annual appropriation spending bills. The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill includes: $470 Million: Electric BoatVirginia Class Submarine Advance ProcurementNorth Kingstown, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $470 million for the Virginia Class Submarine Advance Procurement Program to allow construction shipyards to procure additional equipment and material to reduce unit cost and construction schedule. Funding will be shared between construction facilities at Quonset, RI and Groton, CT. $25 Million: Electric BoatUndersea Launched Missile Study (ULMS)North Kingstown, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $25 million for concept development, payload evolution, and detail design for the next generation of the Ohio-class submarine. Development is expected to begin as early as fiscal year 2019. $25 Million: Electric BoatSSGN Launch and Recovery Module at Sea DemonstrationNorth Kingstown, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $25 million for Electric Boat for the completion of an operational launch and recovery module to support an at-sea demonstration for existing Special Operations Forces (SOF) payloads and provide the universal interface for integration of other payloads to help the Navy enhance its war fighting capabilities. $10 Million: MPRILaser Collective Combat Training System (LCCATS) Fielding ProgramMiddletown, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $10 million for MPRI of Middletown for the Army National Guard for the Laser Collective Combat Training System (LCCATS). The LCCATS is a comprehensive laser-based marksmanship training system engaging various types of laser sensitive targets including a soldier's own assigned weapon without the use of live ammunition. The system will help aid Army National Guard units in maintaining the current requirement that all members be proficient in marksmanship. $7.5 Million: RaytheonProject AthenaPortsmouth, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $7.5 million for Raytheon's Project Athena, a multi-domain awareness system that provides a Common Operational Picture (COP) for global, regional, and local situational awareness using live feeds from a multitude of long-range surveillance sensors, information data bases and intelligence sources. Funding will allow for the integration of anti-terror and force protection chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear detection sensors and systems, and accelerate fielding of the system to strategic locations to provide domain awareness to military personnel and first responders. $7 Million: Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Rite SolutionsUndersea Perimeter Security Integrated Defense Environment (UPSIDE)Middletown, RI The bill authorizes $7 million for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, partnered with Rite Solutions of Middletown, to transition a prototype shorefront infrastructure protection system to be fully integrated, functional and deployable. Reed secured $2 million for the prototype in last year's defense authorization. The system will be used to demonstrate and evaluate UPSIDE's components, including: advanced sensors for threat detection; classification and localization; real-time monitoring of the coastal ocean; command and control features including decision aids, common operation picture, a first responder network with asset tracking, two-way communication, and threat engagement. $5 Million: Control Systems Analysis (CSA) INTERLOCKS Development ToolTiverton, Rhode Island The bill authorizes an additional $5 million for the INTERLOCKS development tool. The project will expand the development of the oxygen generator and air purification Performance Support Systems (PSS) to support onboard qualifications, operation, and maintenance activities for the SSN and SSBN platform submarines. $4.4 Million: BAE Systems and Navel Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Improved Submarine Towed Array Handler and Array ReliabilityNewport, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $4.4 million for BAE Systems and NUWC to complete the design and develop and test design changes to improve towed array handlers and reliability. The current towed array handling system places high stress on the system, and fleet experience has demonstrated that the low system reliability is impacting the fleet's ability to conduct submarine operations. Changes to the handler will help preserve system performance while increasing reliability and lowering life cycle costs of the combined system. $4 Million: SEACORPSImproved Surface Vessel Torpedo LauncherMiddletown, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $4 million for SEACORPS of Middletown for the improved surface vessel torpedo launcher. Funding will be used to continue fabrication and testing of two Advanced Deployment Models which will produce a torpedo launcher option for launching Mk 54 torpedoes from an unmanned surface vessel that will be completed in 2010. $3 Million: TPI Composites Composite Armored Cab ProgramWarren, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $3 million for TPI Composites in Warren to build several dozen armor ready composite cabs. Structural composites solutions are proving an effective way to reduce weight in military vehicles, improving operation, allowing for efficient transportation, and allowing for increased payload. These composite parts maintain strength and durability of traditional materials but lower corrosion, which reduces maintenance time and costs. $3 Million: Applied Radar, Inc.X-Band Interferometric Radar (XBIR) North Kingstown, Rhode Island The bill authorized an additional $3 million for Applied Radar, Inc. to continue development of the X-Ban Interferometric Radar (XBIR) radar system to help protect troops from rocket and mortar attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will create many new high-technology jobs in Rhode Island. $3 Million: Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and ONRVector Sensor Technology DevelopmentNewport, Rhode Island The bill authorizes an additional $3 million to develop a single thin-line array of vector sensors that provide instantaneous direction to an acoustic contact. Current towed arrays are equipped with omni-directional hydrophones which cannot resolve initial left/right bearing of an acoustic contact. $2 Million: Textile Engineering and Manufacturing (TEAM)3D Woven Ballistic Materials for Future Combat SystemsSlatersville, Rhode Island The U.S. Army has identified a need for the development and qualification of high performance ballistic material technologies that will enhance multi-hit protection required in today's battlefield environment. The bill authorizes $2 million for Textile Engineering and Manufacturing of Slatersville for development, testing and evaluation of 3D woven ballistic materials, weaving process development to scale-up the technology to vehicle size structures, establish a material performance database, and transition select ballistic armor technology to select vehicle systems. $2 Million: Northeast KnittingRugged Electronic Textile Vital Signs Monitoring Cumberland, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $2 million for Northeast Knitting of Cumberland for data collection, field testing, base medical algorithm development and prototype knitting involving the integration of electronics and textiles for the Army's Physiologic Status Monitoring (PSM) system that enables remote triage and body systems monitoring through body borne sensors. Eighty-six percent of battlefield deaths occur within 30 minutes after being wounded. Remote sensing and monitoring of vital health functions of soldiers in training and in battle is needed to improve the opportunity to implement life-saving measures in time to make a difference. $1 Million: Incident Control SystemsComposite Ceramic Vehicle Armor ProgramProvidence, Rhode Island The bill authorizes an additional $1 million to continue to research and develop composite ceramic armor for vehicles. The program offers a number of systems which are a viable alternative to traditional steel armor, significantly reducing the weight load on vehicles while providing increased protection against ballistic threats. $2 Million: Battelle Ocean Sciences (testing in the Narragansett Bay)Harbor Shield The bill authorizes $2 million for Battelle Ocean Sciences for the Harbor Shield Research Program. This program will develop a future generation of undersea networks using a combination of synthetic aperture sonar and subsurface electro-optical imaging to take a "hull print" that will be sent to shore and analyzed for anomalies and transferred to a centralized database to be sent to ports around the world. The program will be tested in the Narragansett Bay. $5 Million: New England Supply ChainFunding spread through six New England States The bill authorizes $5 million for the New England Supply Chain to support the New England Defense Manufacturing Supply Chain efforts to assist small and medium manufacturers in New England with supplying equipment and products to the Department of Defense. Aquidneck Island School Districts (National Program)DoD Supplement to Impact AidAquidneck Island, Rhode Island The bill authorizes $5 million for the DoD supplement to the Impact Aid program. This program provides assistance to school districts across the country with a large military presence to meet the costs of special needs programs and will aid schools on Aquidneck Island.