Jun 10 2003

Congress Passes Defense Spending Bill for FY04

Bill Contains Several Hundred Million Dollars for SC Projects

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate approved the FY 2004 Defense Appropriations Bill which includes several hundred million dollars for projects directly affecting South Carolina. Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted for the bill, which passed the Senate 95-0. Highlights of South Carolina projects in the bill include: South Carolina Upstate The bill appropriates a total of $140.222 million for the P-3 aircraft Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP). The Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program greatly expands the P-3C’s capabilities and includes additional advanced technology sensors, expanded communication systems, upgraded weapon delivery capabilities, and survivability upgrades. The plus up includes $18.2 million for additional AIP kits and $3 million for Tactical Common Data Link. A portion of this work will be done in Greenville. $12 million for Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) to support prototype development. A portion of this work will be done in Greenville. $1.25 million for Formidable Aligned Carbon ThermoSets (FACTS), a new composite product for naval aircraft construction. FACTS will allow the design and fabrication of much more efficient designs significantly lowering airframe weight. A significant amount of the development will be conducted in Anderson. South Carolina Midlands $34.592 million for the purchase of additional M109A6 Paladin Howitzers. The Paladin is the most advanced self-propelled howitzer cannon system fielded in the world. The additional 36 Paladins authorized and appropriated are solely for the Army National Guard. A significant number of components for the Paladin are built in Aiken. $5 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Army) and $4 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Marine Corp) produced in Columbia. The M-249 is a portable, high-fire volume, highly reliable light machine gun which serves as one of the Army and Marine Corps most valuable infantry weapon systems. $3.6 million for the AH-64 Vibration Management Enhancement Program (VMEP). The Army has selected the South Carolina National Guard’s VMEP, in conjunction with the University of South Carolina, as the aircraft maintenance diagnostic system for all Army AH-64 Apache and Apache Longbow helicopters. $1.2 million for the development of an Advanced Electric Drive for military use. South Carolina Lowcountry $8.4 million for continued research and development to create vaccines for the Ebola and Marburg viruses. The research will be conducted in Mt. Pleasant. $2.8 million for the procurement of Quadrangle Containers, produced in Charleston. These shipping containers divide into four separate sections to aid in transport by facilitating the loading and unloading process. $2.25 million for continued development of multi-spectral Barium GaloGermanite (BGG) glass window technology, an essential component for airborne reconnaissance systems. Research and development of BGG glass is conducted in Hilton Head. $2.1 million for further development of Lean Munitions, designed to reduce the time necessary to design, manufacture and test munitions to keep pace with the Army’s increased operational tempo. $2 million for the development of an Autolog System, a concept that uses multi-point stabilization to overcome the pendulations problems on existing shipboard cranes. Research will be conducted in Charleston. $1.5 million increase to the current Supply-Chain Practices for Affordable Navy Systems (SPANS) program. This will support additional pilot programs to help prime contractors work with their supply chains in the context of the new acquisition practices. Misc. $55 million for C-37 Procurement. These aircraft support combatant commanders of forward deployed Navy and Marine Corps forces. $5 million for Eagle Vision which provides the South Carolina National Guard with in-theater, real-time acquisition and processing of commercial satellite imagery of our adversary’s territory. "Our state is the tip of the spear for our nation’s armed services," said Graham. "South Carolina is also a leader in military technology and plays a vital role in the war on terrorism. The men and women stationed here, both active duty and reserve components, play a major role in defending American interests around the world and providing freedom.” "I am proud to be from a state that is invaluable to America’s fighting force," said Graham. "We provide the human assets and support systems that make the U.S. military the world’s premier fighting force.” “This bill is important to our men and women in uniform. It provides the crucial technology and equipment on which they depend. South Carolina plays an important role in the defense of our country and our way of life.” The Defense Appropriations Act has also passed the U.S. House and will now be sent to President Bush for his signature. ####