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CUBRC, A Buffalo-Based, Independent Not-For-Profit Research Entity, Is Home To Groundbreaking Scientists And Facilities Focused On US Defense Needs Including The Large Energy National Shock Tunnel (LENS) Complex

Senator Says CUBRC’s State-Of-The-Art Facilities And Committed Buffalo Workforce Inspire Continued Investment from DOD

Schumer: Continued Support For World-Class CUBRC Operation Keeps The US At The Forefront Of Hypersonic Technology

Continuing his nearly a decade and a half of fighting for defense projects and funding to benefit Western New York, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that CUBRC in Buffalo has received $16 million in FY2020 (FY20) funding from the Department of Defense (DoD). The funding will be used to construct a state of the art, one of a kind, long-duration testing facility that will further solidify CUBRC’s position as the world’s leader for hypersonics test and evaluation. Schumer explained that CUBRC is the only facility in the U.S. that has the capability to test weapons systems at high levels of complexity and velocity at full scale; and that the state-of-the-art complex has won continued federal funding to allow the U.S. to keep up with international competitors like Russia and China, which have performed successful tests of hypervelocity weapon systems in recent years and are investing heavily in this technology.

“CUBRC is the only facility in the nation with the ability to test hypersonic weapons systems at flight conditions at full scale, and it is a critical part of both Western New York’s innovation economy and our national security,” said Senator Schumer. “With international competitors like China and Russia making significant strides in the field of hypersonic weapons development, we must ensure that CUBRC receives funding from the DOD every year, just like it will this year. That’s why I’m proud to have secured this funding that will fund CUBRC’s groundbreaking improvement to its testing and evaluation complex, allowing us to win the global race on innovation in hypersonic technologies and weapons; support good-paying, high-tech jobs in Western New York; and, provide a critical shot in the arm to the regional economy.”

“Senator Schumer has consistently provided the leadership needed to continue to assure that the US has the world’s leading technology in this vital space. This award from DOD will enable CUBRC to further upgrade our capabilities here in Buffalo thus providing our incredible scientific talent the tools necessary to keep the United States in our leadership position on hypervelocity. This cannot be understated about how important this is to CUBRC, to Western New York and to the Nation,” said Tom McMahon, CEO of CUBRC.

CUBRC was established in 1983 to find technological advancements for its customers, particularly the U.S. military, through an array of research, development, testing and systems integration projects. The roots of CUBRC’s hypersonics work date back to the 1950s and its facilities and staff have played a key role in the development of the Gemini and Apollo space capsules, as well as development and testing of the Space Shuttle and many other manned and unmanned space vehicles. CUBRC’s scientists are national assets and are honing the cutting edge of high enthalpy hypersonic research, playing a crucial role in the national defense strategy. The LENS Complex consists of four shock tunnels that enable hypersonic aerodynamic flow tests, at fully-duplicated flight conditions, using full-scale vehicles, which has played a critical role in DOD’s study of hypersonic vehicles and interceptors. The majority of this $16M will be used to construct a new facility which represents a significant upgrade to this already world class capability.

Senator Schumer has long fought on behalf of the Buffalo-based CUBRC. Last year, upon hearing that the DOD would delay the release of $6 million to CUBRC for bureaucratic reasons, Schumer stepped up to the plate and successfully pushed for the DOD to deliver the funds on an expedited timeline. In 2015, Schumer announced that the Omnibus spending bill included $91 million in funding for the Department of Defense’s Test and Evaluation/Science and Technology (T&E/S&T) program, an increase of roughly $9 million over 2015’s levels. Senator Schumer also secured $16M for CUBRC’s LENS in the same T&E/S&T program in both the FY18 and FY19 Defense budgets. In March of 2019, Schumer toured CUBRC with Dr. Michael D. Griffin, the former Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and former NASA administrator, and called on DOD to make Western New York and CUBRC the national epicenter of hypersonic systems development by supporting boosted funding levels for the organization.