Reports: Cuts on the way to F-35 JSF R&D, Engine Programs

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From Top: F-35A, C, B(click to view full) reports that US House & Senate conferees agreed to a final version of an FY 2006 defense spending bill that reduces the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program’s funding request by $200 million, including $108 million in cuts to research, development, testing and engineering (RDT&E) funding. The US Air Force had asked for $2.6 billion, including $200 million to fund long-lead items for the purchase of five aircraft in FY 2007. The House spending bill had fully funded the $2.4 billion RDT&E request, but the Senate plan would have cut that by $270 million. In the end, the result was closer to the Senate’s plan, and $30 million was also cut from the long-lead items budget. As DID reports below, the F-35’s dual-engine program may also be in question, a development that could have far-reaching ramifications for the JSF program. The contemplated cuts may even have ramifications for the USA’s F-22 Raptor program. With respect to the RDT&E cuts, the Senate Appropriations Committee had said in a September 2005 report that: “The program is still redesigning the three JSF variants (F-35A Air Force; F-35B STOVL for Marines, British, Italians; F-35C carrier-based) […]

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