Washington, DC—Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that the House has voted to authorize $20 million in defense projects for DRS-EW (Electronic Warfare) Network Systems based in Cheektowaga, including $12 million for an Unmanned Threat Emitter Modernization (UMTE) program and $8 million for a Multi-spectral Threat Emitter System (MTES). This authorization is included in the FY 2007 Department of Defense Authorization Bill. The bill’s passage is the first step in the Department of Defense appropriations process.
DRS-EWNS employs over 300 people in Cheektowaga, in manufacturing and testing simulators. The company provides high-technology products and services which are used by all branches of the U.S. military, major aerospace and defense prime contractors, government intelligence agencies, international military forces and industrial markets. Last year, Higgins was responsible for the appropriation of $8 million for the UMTE program for the Air Force and $2.1 million for MTES, a Navy program.
Both UMTE and MTES provide critical training for pilots and aircrews against a wide range of combat dangers by simulating Surface-to-Air Missiles and mobile man portable air defense systems commonly known as MANPADS. These systems enable military aviators to recognize the threats and learn defensive maneuvers on training ranges before flying into real and dangerous environments.
“This authorization is a continued boost for defense manufacturing in Western New York,” said Higgins. “DRS-EWNS in Cheektowaga serves as a center of excellence for electronic warfare training equipment, providing critical fixed and mobile simulation systems to all branches of the Department of Defense. We should take pride in having this important company in our midst, employing hundreds of Western New Yorkers in an industry that is crucial to our country and one that helps save our soldier’s lives.”
Joseph A. Tomasino, VP/GM of DRS-EW & Network Systems said, “This Congressional Authorization in support of electronic warfare training systems not only strengthens DRS-EWNS – Buffalo’s highly skilled labor force but also serves to maintain the proficiency of our young pilots in the USAF and USN today.”