Roughly $1.5 billion in funding to upgrade 135 of Abrams tanks was approved by the Senate on Sept. 18 in the fiscal year 2019 Department of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies conference report.
“This funding supports our troops both at home and around the globe, and passage of this bill continues our efforts to rebuild our military. The newest Abrams tank is a vital investment for our soldiers to meet the realities highlighted in the latest National Defense Strategy and they have already started coming off the line at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima (Ohio). This is important for our armored formations and for Lima and its irreplaceable workforce,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said.
The conference report also includes $265 million to upgrade Stryker Vehicles to increase troop survivability and mobility.
“I am also pleased that this bill provides additional resources to upgrade the hulls of 82 Stryker vehicles. These hull improvements are an investment in our soldiers and will better protect them from the current threats on today’s modern battlefield. I’m hopeful this funding will provide longer-term stability to the industrial base and ensure our soldiers have timely access to the most capable and survivable vehicle coming off the line. I look forward to the president signing this into law in the coming weeks,” Portman added.
Portman sent a letter earlier this year to the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urging it to increase the authorization for funding for modernizing Stryker Vehicles in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.