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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney Lauds Passage of Defense Appropriations Bill

June 20, 2014
Press Release

Legislation Fully Funds Virginia Class Submarine Construction, Ohio Replacement Program

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) released the following statement after voting for the 2015 Defense Appropriations Act, which passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 340 to 73:

“This bill is a strong investment in U.S. security and Connecticut’s economy,” Courtney said. “It will maintain the two-per-year build rate for Virginia Class submarines that I have worked to establish and protect, and it makes the necessary down payments to continue the Ohio Replacement Program—both critical efforts to our long-term national security strategy. It is a testament to the exceptional workers who supply and build the most advanced submarines in the world that we are continuing to prioritize these programs, even in tough fiscal times.”

A summary of the bill follows:

Connecticut Programs

Submarine Procurement and Development

  • Virginia Class Submarine. The bill provides $5.8 billion for the Virginia class submarine program, including $3.5 billion for two submarines in 2015 and $2.3 billion in advanced procurement for two submarines in 2016. The bill fully supports the recently announced Block IV multi-year submarine contract, which calls for 10 submarines to be built over the next five years at a two-a-year rate
  • Ohio Class Replacement. Fully funds budget request of $1.3 billion to continue research and development of the Ohio class ballistic missile submarine replacement.
  • Virginia Payload Module. Fully funds the budget request of $133 million for the continued development of the Virginia Payload Module, which would integrate strike payload capacity for Tomahawk Land Attack and follow on missiles in Block V submarines (FY19-23). 

Aircraft Procurement and Development

  • F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The bill provides $6.3 billion for 28 F-35s, 4 more than requested in the budget, including 4 Navy F-35Cs, 6 F-35Bs and 28 F-35As.
  • KC-46 Tanker Replacement. The bill provides $1.6 billion for procurement of 7 aircraft, equal to the budget request.
  • C-130 Upgrades. In order to address the growing concern about the aging of the C-130H fleet, found primarily in the Air National Guard, the bill provides $110 million, an increase of $74 million from the budget request, for C-130H propulsion system propeller and engine control upgrades. Also includes language, Sec. 8122, prohibiting the use of funds to cancel the C-130 AMP program. The 103rd Flying Wing of the Connecticut National Guard is home to eight C-130H aircraft.

Helicopter procurement and development

  • $1.5 billion for 87 UH-60 Black Hawks for the Army and Guard, 8 more than the budget request.
  • $188.4 million for 8 Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters
  • $870.1 million for 29 Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopters
  • $573.2 million to develop the MH-53K Super Stallion transport transport, equal to the budget request.
  • $388.1 million to continue research and development of the Marine One replacement, VXX.  Sikorsky was recently selected to produce the new presidential helicopter.
  • $100 million for Combat Rescue Helicopter, to partially address a $436 million shortfall in the program over the next five years, and designates the program as a congressional special interest program. The 2014 Omnibus provided $333.6 million for the program, which the committee report notes is sufficient to fund the program through FY2015.

Notable Provisions

Military Pay Raise. Provides a 1.8% across the board military pay raise, 0.8% more than requested in the budget.

BRAC. Denies funding for a new BRAC round.