Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wire: House Breathes Life Back Into F-22 Program

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2009 -- Newswire services this afternoon reported Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-22 program got an unexpected lift Wednesday after House lawmakers approved $369 million to continue production of the radar-evading fighter jets.

The amendment, likely to reopen a debate over the necessity of the planes that cost $140 million each, was approved by the House Armed Services Committee. Republicans largely backed the measure and were joined by a handful of Democrats in a 31-30 vote.

The Associated Press said the extra funding was adopted as part of the 2010 Defense Department spending bill mark-up. The bill still needs to make its way through the full House and Senate.

On Thursday, The Hill reported that a key House defense authorizer predicted that Congress will likely fund as many as 20 more F-22 Raptor fighter jets, despite the Obama administration deciding to kill the Lockheed Martin contract after the 187th airplane is delivered.

The final F-22 plane will be delivered by the end of 2011 or early 2012, after which the production line in Marietta, Ga., is slated to close.

But Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), the chairman of the Armed Services Air and Land Forces subcommittee, said at a breakfast with reporters on Thursday that there will likely be support in Congress to buy as many as 20 more planes, The Hill said.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Rep. Abercrombie predicts more F-22 purchases
House committee adds $369M for Lockheed's F-22 jet

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