Appropriations for Lockheed clear another hurdle

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 6, 2001

Staff Writer

Lockheed Martin’s Pike County facility is expected to reap the benefits of some federal funds appropriated for defense programs.

United States Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Tuesday the committee’s approval of funding for the 2002 fiscal year.

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"I am very pleased that the committee approved funding for these important defense programs," Shelby said. "They are critical to the stability of our nation’s military infrastructure and readiness."

He said committee approval indicates Congress’ commitment to national security.

Shelby said the committee appropriated $415.6 million to procure Javelin missiles for both the Army and Marine Corps.

"Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical capability," Shelby said.

The committee also included $241.8 million for the procurement of Longbow Hellfire missiles which "help to maintain our Army aviators as the most effective warriors in the sky."

Another $45 million was included for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), which is a "precision air-to-ground missile used by the Air Force and Navy to destroy high-value, well-defended targets," Shelby said.

Lockheed’s facility in Orion does produce the Javelin, Longbow Hellfire and JASSM.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives companion bill, which allotted $807 million for defense workers in Southeast Alabama, passed committee. About $697 million was appropriated for missile construction orders partially performed at Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations.

Andrea Andrews, spokeswoman for Shelby, pointed out the figures will be different until the legislation goes to conference committees and is passed in the full House and Senate.

Mike Lewis, U.S. Rep. Terry Everett’s press secretary, pointed out the $697 million for Lockheed Martin will go "to the overall production of the specified missiles by Lockheed Martin’s network of defense plants" and not just the Pike County facility. Overall, the House-passed defense appropriations bill calls for $317.5 billion in new Pentagon spending in 2002 to meet American’s new security needs – $19 billion more than in 2001.