WASHINGTON, D.C. (KSWO) - A full-rate production contract will likely be awarded by the end of the year for the Army's new Paladin weapon system in Elgin.
That's the word from Oklahoma's senior U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe. The first operational firing took place nearly two years ago at Fort Sill.
They will be manufactured by BAE Systems and assembled at the facility in Elgin. Inhofe says the Army prioritized funding for the Paladin program to ensure there is no critical gap in the Army's ability to deliver fires, despite budget constraints.
Lt. Gen. Michael Williamson told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "What I'd argue today is that the Army is modernizing. We are modernizing. As you look at our '17 budget request, it includes modernization. What really affects us is that we have to slow down modernization. So as priorities come up, whether it is readiness or something else, we end up stretching out or delaying modernization, which adds cost in the long run. Our goal is to never let that happen; it is to deliver to a schedule and to reduce cost and find deficiencies where possible."
Inhofe says "Because of those that serve at Fort Sill and the surrounding community support, Oklahoma continues to be an attractive place for the Army to make investments in military modernization."