HOEVEN OUTLINES EFFORTS TO SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH IN NORTH DAKOTA’S DEFENSE & TECH INDUSTRIES

DEVILS LAKE JOURNAL NEWSROOM

JAMESTOWN – As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has been working to support the state’s defense industry, part of his broader efforts to continue expanding North Dakota’s technology industry, the third wave in the state’s economic growth. To this end, the senator helped secure new opportunities for the company to adapt its lightweight cargo loading system to fit a variety of military platforms. This includes providing a total of $15.5 million across Fiscal Years (FY) 2018-2021 to adapt the system for:

·        The Army’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

·        The Navy’s CH-53K heavy duty helicopter.

·        The Navy and Marine Corps versions of the V-22 tilt rotor aircraft.

The Senator Congratulates Collins Aerospace on 50 Years in Jamestown.

“Collins Aerospace has been an important part of Jamestown for decades, and we appreciate the important contributions of their employees, whose work helps our warfighters to be more effective and efficient in their missions,” said Hoeven. “North Dakota has long played an essential role in our nation’s defense, and facilities like this are an important part of these efforts. Moreover, we can leverage our expertise in fields like aerospace, unmanned aircraft and other areas to create new avenues of investment and growth in our state’s rapidly expanding technology sector, and that’s exactly what we’re working to do.”

In addition, Hoeven is working to advance the following missions as well as research and development opportunities for universities and businesses in the state:

·        Establishing a new satellite mission in Grand Forks.

o   Hoeven recently hosted Space Development Agency (SDA) Director Dr. Derek Tournear in North Dakota to review these efforts and announce a $6 million award from the SDA to General Atomics to demonstrate satellite to MQ-9 Reaper laser communications.

·        Securing a role for the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and the University of North Dakota (UND) in the Air Force’s Agility Prime initiative.

o   In December, Hoeven announced four Air Force contracts with UND and the test site, with the goal of developing new technologies to be used in small, low-cost aircraft that will support basic Air Force missions.

·        Providing the following competitive research opportunities in FY2021:

o   $20 million for advanced coatings research, including Air Force research like that being undertaken by Elinor Specialty Coatings in Fargo.

o   $17 million for the Department of Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCOR) program, in which UND and North Dakota State University (NDSU) participate.

o   $10 million for Navy research into UAS payloads and performance.

o   $7 million for developing advanced power and battery systems for spacecraft.

o   $5 million for augmented reality systems for Army vehicles, which UND is currently helping develop.

o   $2.5 million to support a new silicone solar cell research project at NDSU

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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