U.S. Lawmaker Vows To Scrutinize Expensive Aircraft Programs

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U.S. Lawmaker Vows To Scrutinize Expensive
Aircraft Programs

25 March, 2004

A key U.S. lawmaker warned the Pentagon that two big-ticket tactical aircraft programs - the F/A-22 Raptor and Joint Strike Fighter - face increased scrutiny by Congress. "The time has come for us to be tough about the way we're spending money on programs that we can't see the ability to fund in the out years," Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's tactical air and land forces subcommittee, said during a March 25 hearing. "That may sound harsh, but that's the reality of where we are." The two major tactical aircraft fighter programs are expected to cost $280 billion, according to the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. Since its 1986 inception the F/A-22 program has suffered development problems that have resulted in a 10-year delay in initial operating capability and $16 billion increases. And the Joint Strike Fighter, expected to cost $9 billion a year for the next decade, recently adjusted its program by a year to accommodate engineering difficulties.
"You have to understand that we are going to look at these programs in a very careful and a very intense way," said Weldon. "We will take no exceptions."

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