Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is America's Tank Builder About To Shut Down?

M1 Abrams tanks sit on the assembly line at a plant in Lima, Ohio, the only place where the tanks are manufactured. Plant and local officials fear the plant won't survive if the military temporarily halts new tank orders. General Dynamics Land Systems

M1 Abrams Tank Builder Pushes Congress To Keep Contract Going -- McClatchy News

WASHINGTON — The M1Abrams tank has survived the Cold War, two conflicts in Iraq and a decade of war in Afghanistan. No wonder: It weighs as much as nine elephants and it’s fitted with a cannon that’s capable of turning a building to rubble from two and a half miles away. But now the machine is a target in an unusual battle between the Defense Department and lawmakers who are the beneficiaries of large campaign donations by its manufacturer.

The Pentagon, facing smaller budgets and looking toward a new global strategy, wants to save as much as $3 billion by freezing refurbishing work on the M1 from 2014 to 2017, so it can redesign the vehicle from top to bottom. Its proposal would idle a large factory in Lima, Ohio, as well as halt work at dozens of subcontractors in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states.

Read more ....

My Comment: Shutting down parts of America's defense-industrial complex with the promise of opening it up in the future with a 'new program' is raising concerns .... and with just cause. I heard the same thing when I was living in Russia and the Russian government made the decision after the collapse of the Soviet Union to mothball key parts of their military industrial complex for a few years .... they even retired my uncle who was a director in their military-satellite communications division. Guess what .... those plants were never opened again .... and in today's world the present Russian government is now faced with huge costs in starting this up all over again.

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