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Senate Proposal Could Cut Next F/A-22 Order, DOD Says

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posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:45 PM
In a procedural move in next years budget, tight new restrictions could force the AF to buy less Raptors than it has a need for. While Lockheed has fallen behind in its deliveries, It would be a grave mistake IMHO to cut any further the amount of Raptors that the AF buys. The Raptor will ensure that the USAF maintains dominance over the rest of the world. Limiting production will further drive up the per unit cost as well.

The U.S. Defense Department is warning Congress that a Senate proposal to put conditions on buying F/A-22 Raptors could force the Air Force to trim its next order.

In an Aug. 26 appeal to the House-Senate conference committee that is writing the final version of the fiscal 2005 defense authorization bill, DOD said it opposes Senate-passed language that would cut the F/A-22's FY '05 buy from 24 jets to 22 unless the program is meeting its delivery schedule. The Air Force is slated to award its FY '05 Raptor contract early in that fiscal year, before it expects to wipe out a delay in deliveries.

"Thus, if the appeal is not accepted, the Air Force could be limited to procurement of 22 F/A-22 aircraft," a DOD spokeswoman told The DAILY Aug. 27.

Senators said their proposed restriction is warranted because F/A-22 deliveries to the government have been well behind schedule since last year. But DOD said prime contractor Lockheed Martin is catching up.

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