LIMA — A Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 includes $1.7 billion to upgrade 165 Abrams tanks and $550 million for Stryker vehicle upgrades, signaling support for additional funding that will benefit production at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima.
The Abrams and Stryker appropriations are a small part of the sweeping $750 billion defense spending bill, which must still be reconciled with the House before final passage.
Ohio Sens. Robert Portman and Sherrod Brown both supported funding for the Abrams and Stryker vehicle programs.
“The newest Abrams tank is a vital investment for our soldiers to meet the realities highlighted in the latest National Defense Strategy and they come off the line at the JSMC in Lima,” Portman said in a statement on Thursday. “This increased funding will ensure that more tanks are produced at Lima and get to our forward deployed soldiers. This is a significant improvement when not long ago the workforce was only funded for one tank per month. This is important for our armored formations and for Lima and its irreplaceable workforce.”
Portman said the Stryker upgrade provisions “will help provide long-term stability to the industrial base and keep our soldiers from waiting too long to be fielded with the most capable and survivable vehicle coming off the line.”
Brown recently toured the JSMC to tout his support for the tank plant.
“Lima’s JSMC workforce advances our national security mission and their critical improvements to the Abrams tank and Stryker vehicle increase survivability and lethality for our men and women in uniform,” Brown said in a statement. “I’ve seen firsthand the work performed at JSMC and will make sure JSMC and its workforce have the funding needed to continue expanding production.”
The NDAA for fiscal year 2019 included $265 million for Stryker vehicle upgrades and $1.5 billion for Abrams tank upgrades.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.