Thursday, April 14, 2011

DTN News - U.S. DEFENSE BUDGET NEWS: Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter Program Cut By Budget Compromise

Defense News: DTN News - U.S. DEFENSE BUDGET NEWS: Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter Program Cut By Budget Compromise
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 14, 2011:
The budget compromise up for consideration by Congress cuts $2.16 billion from Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and doesn't include money for the jet's alternative engine being developed by General Electric Co. and Rolls Royce Group PLC.

The White House and congressional leaders agreed to a $670.8 billion Defense Department appropriations bill for 2011 that is $18.1 billion below the Pentagon's original request for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The base budget proposed for the Pentagon is $513 billion while funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan remain at $157.8 billion, the amount requested by the Obama administration, according to budget details released by the Senate.

The House and Senate are expected to vote on the bill by Friday, part of the plan to avert a government shutdown when the current stopgap funding measure is set to expire. The numbers released Tuesday don't include military construction projects, which are approved by Congress in a separate bill.

The bill proposes a cut of $2.16 billion from the F-35 program because of production and aircraft testing delays, according to the document. The $382 billion program to build variations of the aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps is under scrutiny because of rising costs and schedule slips, including technical hurdles in developing the Marine Corps' short-takeoff and vertical-landing version.

The measure also doesn't fund the GE/Rolls Royce engine for the F-35. The primary engine for the fighter jet is built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

Lawmakers are proposing an addition of $228.4 million to test and buy General Dynamics Corp.'s Stryker vehicle with a V-shaped hull to deflect roadside bombs. They also included the administration's requested $3.4 billion to buy Oshkosh Corp.'s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected-All Terrain vehicles, or M-ATV. The 2011 defense appropriations bill also funds about $2.5 billion for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, including 48 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned reconnaissance/attack aircraft made by General Atomics.

The proposed bill cuts a total of $9 billion across all operations and maintenance accounts. It also cuts $500 million from the Obama administration's request of $2 billion for Iraqi security forces funds.

Lawmakers plan to fund the 1.4 percent authorized pay raise for military personnel and agreed to add $670 million to cover shortfalls related to military personnel expenses.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News



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