Inhofe surveys recent BAE expansion progress in Elgin - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Inhofe surveys recent BAE expansion progress in Elgin

ELGIN, Okla._ A military defense contractor here is making progress on their new facility, and Sen. Jim Inhofe visited for the first time Tuesday to check it out.

BAE Systems will soon assemble paladin howitzers, which are forceful defense weapons that have been used on the ground in the military for years. The resources of southwest Oklahoma will soon help in getting new and modernized howitzers in front of soldiers on the battlefield.

"This may be the only place in America today where something good is happening for the military," says Inhofe.

The small building is deserted now but will soon be bustling with construction crews as they work to double the facility's size in order to assemble the new and improved machinery.

"(This howitzer has) a better ride quality and much better soft soil traffic ability, so it moves better in bad terrain," says Adam Zarfoss, director of artillery programs for BAE. "It's faster than the old system … it has much better survivability and force protection. It's about protecting our soldiers when they go into harms way."

Inhofe, who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says this new equipment is helping to modernize our weaponry.

"We haven't had a modernization to our ground capability in almost 50 years."

The 80,000-pound machine will be assembled in Elgin and then they'll roll it down the road to be tested on post at Ft. Sill.

It's a project that's a long time coming. Defense cutbacks have prevented the operation from getting underway for years. Inhofe says knocks to defense spending by the president have put the military behind.

"He's taken $487 billion out of the military ... he's going to go down as the most anti-defense president probably in history," says Inhofe.

The building is expected to be completed by early June. BAE directors expect to roll out their first finished piece of machinery by the end of September. It is a project that is expected to bring nearly 50 jobs to Elgin.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • The Latest: Canada's Sharpe win freestyle halfpipe gold

    The Latest: Canada's Sharpe win freestyle halfpipe gold

    Monday, February 19 2018 8:21 PM EST2018-02-20 01:21:34 GMT
    Monday, February 19 2018 10:12 PM EST2018-02-20 03:12:57 GMT

    Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are aiming to become the most accomplished figure skaters in Olympic history as the free dance begins at Gangneung Ice Arena.

    Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are aiming to become the most accomplished figure skaters in Olympic history as the free dance begins at Gangneung Ice Arena.

  • Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

    Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

    Monday, February 19 2018 1:00 AM EST2018-02-19 06:00:59 GMT
    Monday, February 19 2018 10:12 PM EST2018-02-20 03:12:50 GMT

    In a series of furious tweets from Mar-a-Lago, Trump vented about Russia, raging at the FBI for what he perceived to be a fixation on the Russia investigation at the cost of failing to deter the attack on a Florida high school.

    In a series of furious tweets from Mar-a-Lago, Trump vented about Russia, raging at the FBI for what he perceived to be a fixation on the Russia investigation at the cost of failing to deter the attack on a Florida high school.

  • School shooting puts pressure on Florida lawmakers to act

    School shooting puts pressure on Florida lawmakers to act

    Saturday, February 17 2018 11:00 PM EST2018-02-18 04:00:42 GMT
    Monday, February 19 2018 10:06 PM EST2018-02-20 03:06:12 GMT
    Pressure is growing for tougher gun-control laws after a shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.
    Pressure is growing for tougher gun-control laws after a shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.
Powered by Frankly