Aviation Funding

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby received a commitment from Army officials to allot $14.6 billion in budget savings for aviation programs.

Shelby pressed acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee to keep the money in Army aviation. According to a news release from Shelby’s office -- Brownlee made the commitment during a budget appropriations subcommittee meeting.

Shelby says the $14.6 billion is expected "to buy 800 new aircraft, overhaul over one-thousand existing aviation systems, and greatly accelerate the unmanned aerial vehicle program."

The money comes from the recently eliminated Comanche helicopter program. About 400 people work on the Comanche program in Huntsville.

Army managers estimate it will take about a year and cost two-point-seven billion dollars to shut down the helicopter program.

None of the 220-army employees working on Comanche are expected to be laid off.