Lima Tank Manufacturer Gets Reprieve In Defense Bill

The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima is the only facility in the world that builds M-1 Abrams battle tanks.(Photo: Brian Bull)
The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima is the only facility in the world that builds M-1 Abrams battle tanks.(Photo: Brian Bull)

The world’s only facility that makes the formidable M-1 Abrams battle tank will remain in production, at least for another year.

The city of Lima is home to what’s called the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, or JSMC. Citing a surplus of tanks, the Pentagon said last year that it wanted to idle production at the facility until 2017, a prospect that worried Lima leaders and residents.

Mayor David Berger says with President Obama signing the $633 billion Defense Bill this week, there’s roughly $140 million available now to keep the JSMC going until 2014.

“It’s at least a start on filling the gap,” Berger says. “We hope that again, with the opportunities for foreign military sales that continued work to try to talk about the importance from a national security perspective of maintaining this facility at some rate of production, we hope to continue to advance that through our efforts locally.”

Mayor Berger says a local task force has been working with congressional delegates on outlining the importance of the JSMC.

Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown have both been vocal supporters of keeping the site running, highlighting opportunities with nations such as Israel and Morocco as a way to maintain armor production.

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