Wednesday, February 13, 2013

F-35: Sequestraition - a disaster for the military and F-35

I assume it isn't any secret, given the unilateral cut of $500 billion to defense by the administration last year, that sequestration, which would cut an additional $500 billion, would be a disaster, both to the military as a whole and the F-35 program specifically: 
The U.S. Air Force will have to curtail its orders for Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet, restructure a $52 billion tanker contract with Boeing Co and reduce its flying hours by 18 percent if lawmakers do not avert impending across-the-board spending cuts, the service told Congress on Wednesday.

The Air Force, in a draft presentation to Congress, said it faced shortfalls of $1.8 billion in war funding and $12.4 billion overall if Congress does not forestall the cuts, known as sequestration, which are due to take effect on March 1.

The impact of sequestration would be exacerbated, the Air Force said, if Congress did not pass a budget for the current fiscal year and stuck with the stop-gap spending measure currently in place, known as a "continuing resolution," or CR. "Without substantial reprogramming flexibility, a year-long CR and sequestration disrupts modernization programs" and means a delay in getting weapons into the hands of troops, according to the presentation, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

It cited several examples, including expected reductions in the number of F-35 purchases, the need to renegotiate a big contract with Boeing for new refueling planes, and a delay in a new version of the MQ-9 Reaper drone built by privately held General Atomics.
This is certainly something that would badly hurt our military readiness, already suffering from over 10 years of war, worn out equipment and cuts in personnel levels.  Most of the fat is fairly much gone.  Start cutting and slowing down flying hours and future programs, and we begin to cut into muscle and bone.

And that means lives in the future - American lives.


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