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Cuts expected in weapons. - April 6th 2009, 06:53 PM

source

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is set Monday afternoon to announce major cuts in big weapons systems as he pursues what his aides have described as a "fundamental shift" in U.S. military policies.
Two defense industry executives, and Pentagon official, provided The Washington Times with a partial list of changes Mr. Gates was considering in preparation for his 1:30 p.m. announcement.
The sources asked for anonymity because Mr. Gates has placed a strict gag order on his people, prohibiting them from discussing the fiscal 2010 budget.
Possible changes include:
Downgrading or eliminating the Missile Defense Agency, one of the hallmarks of the Bush administration. The overall budget would be reduced by 20 percent. Mr. Gates' aides have discussed canceling Mr. Bush's plan to install ground-based missile interceptors in Eastern Europe. Missile defense is opposed by Russia, with whom the Obama administration is trying to improve relations. Mr. Gates may also cancel an airborne laser program.
Cuts in the Army's Future Combat System, a network of ground and air vehicles planned for the battlefield of the future. The FCS has been plagued by cost overruns and limited results. The Government Accountability Office said last month its cost growth is not under control.
One proposal is to cancel virtually every planned ground vehicle. The Pentagon may also terminate the Marine Corps' expeditionary fighting vehicle.
Reduce the number of aircraft carrier battle groups -- through which Washington can quickly execute a show of force around the world -- from 11 to 10 or nine.
Such a signifcant shift would reduce aircraft carrier production at Northrop's Newport News, Va., shipyard. Mr. Gates may also cancel the Navy's next-generation destroyer, reducing the buy to one or two ships. Two production lines for the current destroyer, the DDG-51, would continue.
Delaying a competition between Boeing and Airbus maker EADS to produce the Air Force's next refueling jet. Mr. Gates was said to be warming to the idea of having both companies produce two different tankers. There may also be a delay in developing the next long-range bomber.
Increase the buy of F-22 Raptors, the Air Force's newest fighter, from the 183 planned now, about 250 planes. Mr. Gates staff is said to look favorably on the F-35, a less-expensive all-purpose fighter for the Navy and Air Force.
Mr. Gates has signaled in recent weeks that big weapons cuts are on the way.
He will have to sell conservative lawmakers on downgrading the importance of missile defense just as North Korea test-launched a long-range rocket that Washington suspects is tied to its production of nuclear weapons.

What a bad time to cut weapons.


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Re: Cuts expected in weapons. - April 6th 2009, 11:59 PM

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Originally Posted by EDGE View Post

What a bad time to cut weapons.
Not really. He's cutting programs that have proven to be wasteful, ineffective, over-budget, or unsustainable. I challenge you to find a way to fund these things.


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Re: Cuts expected in weapons. - April 7th 2009, 05:59 AM

I agree with him. Gates is a smart guy and even I agree that the damn weapon's contractors have literally been ripping us off. It is really easy for them to send a ton of lobbyists and get more money for their bs programs that don't even work. However, I do like the V-22 Osprey even though Dick Cheney said the whole program was a waste of money, which it was....
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Re: Cuts expected in weapons. - April 7th 2009, 10:50 AM

A lot of the defence projects that they're cutting, like the destroyers, are things that the military weren't even particularly keen on. They were started mainly as a way to buy votes in states with a large defence industry. Defence is one of the things that can be trimmed most easily.
   
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Re: Cuts expected in weapons. - April 7th 2009, 04:33 PM

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A lot of the defence projects that they're cutting, like the destroyers, are things that the military weren't even particularly keen on. They were started mainly as a way to buy votes in states with a large defence industry. Defence is one of the things that can be trimmed most easily.
Especially if your black propaganda made your predecessor appear as a reckless warmonger.

Defence can only be cut back so far though, I mean it's not implausible that the Royal Navy would have been little stronger than the coastguard and confined to UK waters if not for the Falklands War
   
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