Money for MEADS work makes its way back into budget

Mar 22, 2013

Money for a defense contract that supports several hundred jobs at a plant in central New York has found its way back into a federal spending plan.

Funding for the final year of the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, was pulled in December from the Department of Defense budget.

But this week the $380 million needed to finish out the project made it through on a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government until later this year. The measure passed both chambers this week.

The bulk of the radar work for the MEADS system is done by Lockheed Martin in Syracuse. The company says the contract supports about 200 jobs at the site. A spokesman told the Innovation Trail in December that layoffs were likely if the contract was not continued.

Rep. Dan Maffei and Sen. Charles Schumer, both New York Democrats, were vocal in their support for the funding being restored. Maffei released the following statement after the House vote:

After spending the last few weeks urging leaders in Washington from both parties to continue the MEADS program, I am pleased that funding to save hundreds of Central New York jobs was included in the Continuing Resolution that was passed by the House of Representatives today. Creating more jobs and protecting hard working Central New York families are my top priorities. I will continue to do everything I can to advocate for MEADS and other programs that are critical to defending our nation and support good paying jobs in Central New York.

The MEADS system is being designed as a possible replacement to the Patriot missile defense system. It's a joint project between the United States, Germany and Italy. The mobile unit is able to shoot down incoming enemy rockets or unmanned systems.