Lawmakers Pressure Pentagon to Release Funds for Controversial F-22 Fighter Jet

Senior House lawmakers are ratcheting up pressure on Defense Department officials to release congressionally approved funding for an Air Force fighter that has been the subject of a running battle between Pentagon and Air Force leaders.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has said he wants the F-22 Raptor’s fate decided by the next presidential administration, senior House Armed Services Committee lawmakers demanded an explanation for why $140 million already set aside for the plane’s suppliers is being held up.

The money would go toward keeping the plane’s production line ready for new orders beyond the current plans calling for 183 of the jets to be built. The situation pits lawmakers against Pentagon officials Read the entire article at the Wall street Journal

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One Response to “Lawmakers Pressure Pentagon to Release Funds for Controversial F-22 Fighter Jet”

  1. James Refalo Phd Says:

    Given our economic recession and likely inclinations toward procurement of the incoming administration, the Pentagon/congress should reconsider the export ban on the F-22.

    1) The line is due to shut down by April-May 2009 if no new orders are authorized by congress; moreover, at least 20 aircraft per year are required to sustain the production line. Sales to Japan, Australia, and Israel alone could extend the line for 3-4 more years, allowing DOD to purchase aircraft at a slower rate, or giving DOD the option to acquire more aircraft several year from now.

    2) Providing an export version to close allies such as Japan, Australia, and possibly Taiwan, will help counter Chinese military growth, reinforce our defense posture in the area, reduce the military threat to Taiwan and Japan, and force the Chinese to spend valuable economic resources countering the threat—all at no cost to the US. Given the threat of China’s vast accumulation of US Treasury and currency assets, the strategic value of forcing China to spend in this manner cannot be understated.

    3) Export of this very expensive aircraft will provide US jobs during a recession, and could reduce our chronic foreign trade deficit by 3 billion per year. That is not an amount we can sneeze at.

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