$1.53 Billion for Critical Work Done on Abrams Tanks at Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that President Trump’s FY 2019 Budget proposes $1.53 billion in funding to upgrade 135, or 1.5 brigades worth, of Abrams tanks — increasing the rate of production of the newest upgraded Abrams tanks in Lima in order to ensure that our forward deployed tanks have the most cutting-edge capabilities. The funding builds on last years’ National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorized upgrading one brigade of Abrams tanks.  Portman released the following statement:

“The Pentagon’s latest National Defense Strategy highlights the harsh realities of the threats we face in the world and the steps we need to take to confront them.  We must invest in our men and women in uniform and give them the tools they need now and in the future to do their jobs.  The president’s budget for 2019 proposes an important down payment on those needed investments. 

“The newest Abrams tank is one of those vital investments.  Countries around the world, including potential adversaries, continue to invest in armor and anti-armor systems that challenge the supremacy of our armor brigades. The newest Abrams tank, designed to combat these advancements, has started coming off the line at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima.  Not long ago, the plant was producing one tank a month for our U.S. soldiers.  With this proposal, we could be getting more than 10 upgraded tanks a month out to our soldiers.  As the Army plans to continue to grow their armor formations, this increased production will be enormously important.  It’s also tremendously important for Lima.  I am pleased that the president’s budget supports the skilled JSMC employees. I believe it will make a difference for our military and allow JSMC to continue assisting our men and women in uniform.”

NOTE: Senator Portman has been instrumental in securing funding for Lima and its workers. In 2011, when the Obama Administration proposed a costly plan to shut down the Abrams tank production line at the JSMC, Portman and other Ohio delegation members successfully fought to keep the plant open.  Since then, Portman has worked hard to push for more foreign military sales to U.S. allies, protect Lima workers during downturns, and secure funding for the Abrams Tanks and Stryker vehicles.  Last August, he visited the JSMC and hosted an employee town hall as part of his Ohio Defense Tour.  For more information on Portman’s work to protect Lima’s workers and keep our national security strong, see this fact sheet.