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03 Jan 14. BAE in York County gets Army contract to convert Bradleys, keep line moving. BAE Systems has inked a deal with the Army that will keep the Bradley line moving. The contract will allow the defense contractor to convert 70 M3A3 Bradley Cavalry variants to the M2A3 variant for combat engineers. Work will begin at the West Manchester township facility in the fall, extending work on the Bradley line to mid-2015. The $53m contract will help maintain “a small core group of unique and highly skilled workforce within the company,” but it is not enough to stave off the 135 layoffs scheduled through February, according to spokesman Randy Coble. Many of the layoffs are attributed to reductions in federal defense spending and affect union and salaried positions, he said. The York site has always served as manufacturing base for military combat vehicles, changing its name during the last few decades from BMY to United Defense to BAE. “The Bradley Industrial Base is entering its lowest production levels in the program’s 30-year history, but we continue to work closely with the Army to maintain as much of the base as possible,” Coble said. It’s also one of the company’s lowest headcounts during the last 30 years. In November 2009, the local site had 5,000 employees. After the 135 layoffs, there will be 915 workers at the West Manchester Township facility. As wars have ended in the Middle East, and the defense budget has decreased, BAE has received less work, he said. President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget outlines a production break for the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle program, beginning in 2014 and possibly extending through 2017. “The (new contract) is an important first step toward maintaining critical capabilities that will allow us to bridge future vehicles in the Army’s fleet,” Coble said. Even during the Bradley line shutdown, BAE will continue to repair the combat vehicles and hopes to get a contract in place for conversion work on additional Bradleys. “We want to keep the line warm, and keep the skill sets and suppliers intact,” Coble said. (Source: Open Source Information Report/York Dispatch)

05 Jan 14. An almost $400m infusion into the Army’s Stryker program comes with strings attached from lawmakers who want to know more about a stockpile of unneeded replacement parts that built up at an Auburn warehouse during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The defense budget President Barack Obama signed Christmas week sets aside the money to buy or modify Strykers, but it states the Army cannot spend the full amount until it tells Congress what it’s doing to dispose of the $900m worth of Stryker parts Defense Department auditors found at the warehouse in 2012.The bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act, orders Secretary of the Army John McHugh to produce a report to the House and Senate Armed Services committees that details whether any of the parts can still be used for a military purpose and outline what’s being done to sell the rest. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., requested the limitations on Stryker funding in the $526.8bn defense bill. She wanted to hold the Army accountable to the recommendations outlined by the Defense Department Inspector General in its report on the parts stockpile, said a Democratic staff member on the House Armed Services Committee. The parts accumulated during fast-paced war years in which General Dynamics continually revised the Stryker to counter threats in Iraq and Afghanistan. There now are 17 varieties of the vehicles, including heavily armored ones with slanted hulls specifically designed to deflect mines in Afghanistan. Those changes saved lives, but also created a complicated repair and replacement process that the Army is working to standardize with its other ground vehicle programs. Until recently,

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