Funding for two Virginia Class Subs, Money for additional F-35s and CH-53Ks included in appropriations package
[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced that as part of bipartisan omnibus appropriations package, several key Connecticut defense priorities will be fully funded, including two Virginia Class submarines, 97 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, 9 CH-53K helicopters, and key investments in Defense Health Research programs that will benefit veterans, servicemembers, and their families.
“This funding package provides critical resources to assure our nation’s security in a challenging world. I am proud to support this appropriations package that provides essential funding to build submarines, aircraft, and helicopters in Connecticut – providing our troops with the equipment they need to defend our nation. I have consistently fought to fully fund two Virginia Class submarines, secure additional funding for the F-35 and CH-53K programs, and provide additional investment in C-130H blade propeller upgrades to support our Connecticut National Guard,” said Blumenthal. “The workforce at Electric Boat, Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney and throughout the entire Connecticut supply chain are prepared to build the most advanced military machines on the planet.”
“This package also provides significant financial support that will support Connecticut research institutions and expand research for critical long-term health ailments of our servicemembers, veterans, and their families,” added Blumenthal.
Included in the final package are the following funding levels Blumenthal fought for:
Making Strong Investments in Connecticut’s Submarine Industrial Base: Blumenthal fought for robust submarine funding to fortify our undersea superiority and grow Connecticut jobs. Blumenthal secured:
Funding the Future of the F-35: Blumenthal fought to fully fund the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as Connecticut’s Pratt and Whitney is the sole engine-manufacturer for the only fifth generation fighter in production. The bill includes more than $9.6 billion for 96 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, including an additional 17 aircraft above the President’s budget request (62 F-35A fighters, 10 F-35B fighters, and 25 F-35C fighters).
Ensuring Robust Production of Helicopters: Blumenthal pushed for strong funding of helicopters, including the CH-53K King Stallion, UH-60M Black Hawk, VH-92A Presidential Executive Helicopter, Combat Rescue Helicopter Program, and Future Vertical Lift Program. Funding of these programs ensures the health of Sikorsky helicopters and countless other Connecticut businesses that support the helicopter industrial base. Blumenthal secured:
Prioritizing Work Force Development and Stability: Blumenthal secured $20 million to support workforce development and fund investments in the submarine construction workforce training pipeline to support increased hiring needs. It is projected that over the next decade the submarine shipbuilding industry must hire at least 18,000 new skilled workers to support the production of the Columbia and Virginia Class submarines.
Supporting the Connecticut National Guard: This appropriations package adds $180 million above the President’s budget request to support C-130H 8-bladed NP2000 propeller upgrades, as well as $79 million for the C-130 engine enhancement program. The NP2000 propeller upgrades are critical to improve operational performance and enhance crew safety.
Expanding Opportunities for Partnerships between the Department of Defense and Connecticut Research Institutions: Blumenthal fought to expand opportunities for coordination between Department of Defense research requirements and Connecticut’s talented research universities. Blumenthal secured:
Making Strong Investments in Research and Development of Next Generation Military Technology and Defense Health Programs: Blumenthal fought to include critical funding to support investment, research, and development including: