The national security adviser to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has said the production of upgraded Bradley Fighting Vehicles, a staple of work for some manufacturing companies in the midstate, will not immediately face a shutdown though a BAE Systems representative disputes that.
"Right now there is not a shutdown planned," said Dan Adelstein, national security adviser to Pennsylvania's junior senator.
Toomey's office, along with his colleague Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, put out a statement last week saying there was $288 million available to continue production into 2015.
The Army said earlier this year that it was planning to pause the program for three years at the end of 2014. That would have meant about 250 workers being laid off at BAE in York County, as well as a dramatic reduction in business for local companies that supply BAE.
Upgrades and conversions of the Bradley, a personnel carrier used by various branches of the military, could last into 2016, Adelstein said. In fiscal year 2013, the Obama administration requested $148 million for the Bradley program. Congress approved an extra $140 million for a total of $288 million, he said.
In fiscal year 2014, 46 Bradley conversions are requested with placeholders to convert another 46 in 2015 and 47 vehicles in 2016, Adelstein said.
"That's a good thing for York, and we think its good for the Army," he said.
Army representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
The political support and efforts by the Army to reduce the likelihood of a shutdown are appreciated, but a shutdown is still planned, BAE spokeswoman Stephanie Serkhoshian said in an email today. The planned conversions the Army has planned for the Bradley will do little to affect the midstate workforce, she said.
“The Army budget documents reveal that the majority of Bradley funding in FY14, FY15 and FY16 does not support the York site. At this point, it calls for the lowest level of Bradley work at the York site in the history of the program,” Serkhoshian said.
Bradleys could be a staple of the U.S. military for 20 years, even if the Ground Combat Vehicle — the proposed replacement for the Bradley — comes online in fiscal year 2022 as planned, Adelstein said.
Editor's Note: This item was modified from its previous version to include comments from BAE Systems.