The Pentagon has announced it will spend $36.9 million in Defense Production Act Title III funds to help prop up the domestic aviation and shipbuilding industries beset by challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For aviation, the Defenses Department has entered a $14.9 million agreement with Amfuel of Magnolia, AR, to "relieve manufacturing bottlenecks and expand production of military grade fuel bladders and auxiliary systems for virtually all U.S. military aircraft," according to a DOD announcement. "The increased production will ensure the U.S. government receives dedicated long-term domestic industrial capacity to meet the needs of the nation."
For shipbuilding, DOD has entered into a $22 million agreement with Rolls-Royce to "maintain, protect, and expand critical domestic productive capacity for propellers essential to U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs," the announcement states.
Projects will begin in Pascagoula, MS, this month and will "help meet increasing demand across the vitally important shipbuilding sector of the defense industrial base," DOD said.
Meanwhile, DOD intends to ask Congress for more funds to stimulate the defense industrial base in the coming weeks.
Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord has predicted the request for supplemental funding, which she said she hopes will be included in the next round of COVID-19 stimulus spending, will be in the "low double-digits."