In Advance of Defense Authorization Consideration, Brown Urges Armed Services Chairman To Reject Plan To End Abrams Tank Modernization Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In advance of committee consideration of the FY2012 Defense Authorization bill, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) urging him to reject any plan to end the M1A2 Abrams tank modernization program. The Abrams tank is manufactured and refurbished by General Dynamics in Lima.

“With the termination of the Army's Future Combat System, the Army must continue to rely on the Abrams for ground combat operations for years to come. Ending Abrams production places at risk our ability to provide our soldiers with the most lethal and survivable tank in the world,” Brown wrote. “The Army’s proposal would place in jeopardy the highly-skilled, high-wage workforce that makes up the unique armor industrial base.  In addition, over 600 subcontractors around the United States would be affected and it is estimated that 15 percent of critical vendors will close their facilities.

“Eliminating this program, in fact, would be more costly to taxpayers than to continuing to build 70 tanks per year for the next five years. By continuing the Abrams tank production line, we can ensure our military preparedness for today and the future,” Brown added.

Brown has been a longtime champion of the Lima Tank Plant, and in May, he urged the Administration to reject plans to end the M1A2 Abrams tank modernization program. Brown has also been a steadfast supporter of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program, which contributes approximately $144 million to the Ohio economy each year, helping support more than 700 jobs and 25 Ohio-based suppliers.

In February, following the release of the President’s FY2012 budget outline which proposed elimination of the EFV program, Brown pledged to fight its elimination. The month prior, Brown led a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to prevent the Department of Defense from cancelling the EFV program. Brown last visited the Lima Tank Plant in August 2010.

The full letter to Chairman Levin can be found here.

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