Maine Researchers, Defense Contractors to Play Large Role in Equipping Armed Forces
U.S. Representative Tom Allen, a senior member of the House Budget Committee, announced today the passage of the FY 2009 Defense Appropriations bill which includes a number of projects important to Maine.
"The diligence and entrepreneurial spirit of Maine workers is reflected in this bill," said Rep. Allen. "This funding ensures that Maine's defense contractors will continue to play a critical role in America's overarching defense program. Moreover, this bill includes funding for vital research that will help maintain the technological superiority of America's military."
Highlights of the bill include:
* $4 million for Cellulose Nanocomposite panels for enhanced blast and ballistic protection. This will enable the University of Maine to research and develop materials such as ballistic tent panels in order to provide a life-saving layer of protection between our troops in the field and incoming mortar attacks.
* $2 million to optimize the Mark V.1 "MAKO" for improved signature and weight performance. The Mark V.1 was developed by Maine Marine Manufacturing in Portland to meet the U.S. Special Operations Command's requirement for a high-speed endurance craft.
* $1.6 million to Applied Thermal Sciences of Sanford to develop a reliable, innovative high power density engine as an alternative to gasoline-powered internal combustion engines.
* $1.6 million to Technology Systems Incorporated in Brunswick to equip craft in the Special Warfare Program with Augmented Reality-Based systems which will greatly assist in the operation of small, high speed vessels.
* $1.6 million to Cross Rate Technologies to augment existing military GPS systems to be more reliable, as they often function improperly indoors and in urban environments.
* $1.6 million to Pepin Associates of Greenville toward reducing both manufacturing, and operation and maintenance costs of lightweight, fiber reinforced composite structures used on a range of Naval fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
* $1.2 million to Howe and Howe Technologies of North Berwick for the Ripsaw Unmanned Ground Vehicle. Ripsaw is the world's fastest dual-tracked vehicle, and will greatly reduce the number of US casualties from weapons fire.
* $1 million to Portland Valve, LLC for development of Smart Valve. One Smart Valve could replace up to three legacy valves, significantly reduce maintenance as well as valve cost, and is half the weight of the existing valves.
* $1 million to ARA Incorporated of Brunswick for Mobile Valve and Flex Hose Maintenance. The current process of inspecting valves and flex hoses on-board is cumbersome and manpower intensive. This project greatly improves the process of inspecting valves and flex hoses, as well as the accuracy of inputting the problems found.
* $0.8 million to the University of Southern Maine to study the effects of depleted uranium, chromate and nanoparticle exposure on soldiers. The DOD currently uses these particles extensively in warfighting applications, and this research could help reduce their effects on current soldiers and veterans of future wars.
* $0.8 million to Maine Marine Composites of Portland to continue current efforts to design shock mitigating seating, develop design tools and composite material testing methods toward replacing the 11m RIB craft in use by U.S. Special Operations Command.
* $0.8 million to the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Augusta to generate, maintain, and update for the DOD an electronic stockpile of machined parts for legacy and new weapon systems that can be manufactured on demand.
The FY 2009 Department of Defense Appropriations bill provides funding for all non-emergency defense programs from October of 2008 until September of 2009.