Tuesday, July 14, 2009

McCain Moves To Cut Funding For F-22 Jets.

Good move or myopic, I'm not sure. The premier fighter in the world untill 2040 and we are going to limit ourselves to 187 when many in the defense community believe we should maintain an inventory of at least 300. The F35 is NOT the F22. Cheaper, yes but getting by on the cheap has never paid dividends when one speaks of national defense.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain, in an unusual alliance with the Obama administration, moved Monday to eliminate $1.75 billion recently inserted into the proposed 2010 defense budget for more fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Arizona Republican, along with Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, filed an amendment to cut the extra money for seven more F-22's. The Senate Armed Services Committee last month narrowly approved the additional funding requested by Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss.

Messrs. McCain and Levin, the committee's chairman, voted against the additional funds. The full Senate may vote on the defense spending bill this week. The House last month voted to include a $369 million down payment for 12 additional fighters to its version of the defense bill.

The White House reiterated its threat to veto legislation that includes money to continue production of the radar-evading jets beyond the current request of 187 planes.

"We do not need these plans," President Barack Obama wrote in a letter to Messrs. McCain and Levin Monday. "To continue to procure additional F-22s would be to waste valuable resources that should be more usefully employed to provide our troops with weapons that they actually do need."

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