August 31, 2006: U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan and Jack Murtha Affirm Support for High Altitude Airship in Akron
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) hosted Congressman Jack P. Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations, at a tour of Lockheed Martin's Akron facility. At a news conference following the tour, Ryan and Murtha affirmed their support for the High Altitude Airship (HAA), an unmanned, lighter-than-air vehicle which may be built and housed at Lockheed's Airdock in Akron. The Airship, which would be about 500 feet long and 150 feet in diameter, would be built to operate autonomously in the stratosphere (about 70,000 feet) for weeks or even months at time and serve as a stable, geostationary platform suitable for communications, sensors, and weapons.
The High Altitude Airship project would create as many as 500 new jobs in Northeast Ohio.
In June, Ryan worked closely with Murtha to secure federal funding for the project and was successful in allocating $20 million for the HAA in the House-passed version of the Defense Appropriations Bill. The legislation passed the House on June 20.
"The High Altitude Airship project is an important national missile defense program, and--following the production of the prototype airship--has the potential to create 500 new jobs, said Congressman Ryan. "I am incredibly thankful for the efforts of Congressman Jack Murtha, who helped me secure $20 million in federal funding for this project. Without his leadership and dedication to the High Altitude Airship, this project would not have succeeded like it has."