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"We will end production of the F-22 fighter," Gates announced matter-of-factly in the hushed Pentagon briefing room yesterday, dispatching Lockheed Martin's $140-million-a-pop aircraft without even a hint of regret. "For me," he added, "it was not a close call."
The soft-spoken Kansan delivered the news not from a lectern but from his preferred position, in a leather armchair set up behind a table, giving the impression he was on the set of Jim Lehrer's "NewsHour." But the understated delivery obscured the boldness of what Gates was attempting: Calmly and methodically, he posed a direct challenge to the military-industrial complex.
Boeing's Future Combat Systems fighting vehicles -- kaboom!
Lockheed's multiple-kill vehicle: killed.
Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics' DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer with Raytheon electronics? Gates sunk their battleship.
The Lockheed VH-71 presidential helicopter and Boeing's C-17 cargo plane? SecDef shot them down, too.
Originally posted by gottago
...but the question remains whether congress, during this depression, will accept the financial pain that lost contracts will inflict on their home states and districts.
Even the F-22, which a lot of people regard as the pinnacle of USAF engineering, you have to remember was conceived during the Cold War for an entirely different air superiority threat than the United States faces today.
And what do they have to show for it? Failed prototypes, hangar queens, mothballed designs, and fancy blueprints and simulations.
This doesn't require expensive hi-tech toys, but straightforward hardware for troops, as well as support and logistics.
i find it interesting that the presidential helicopters are cut...these have been around for along time and need to be upgraded both mechanically and with new electronic counter-measures.
In the Navy, all three DDG-1000 ships will be built at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine, while the Pentagon will try to “smoothly” restart the DDG-51 Aegis destroyer program at Northrop Grumman’s Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi. Even if these arrangements work out, the DDG-1000 program would end with the third ship and the DDG-51 would continue to be built in both yards, Gates said.
Gates said he planned to go forward with the replacement for the Air Force air refueling tanker fleet, taking bids this summer.
The ship that costs almost as much as an Aircraft carrier. That one.