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Defense Secretary Gates loses another one…..The House Armed Services Committe goes ahead with a second F-35 engine …….

F-35 Lightning II

Defense Secretary Gates is putting himself in a position to be the next Obama employee to resign….

He has come out forcefully against funding a second engine option for the F-35 Lighting , ‘everything’ Fighter….

Congress really does care what he thinks….

He has mentioned that the he thinks the President has his ‘back’ on this one and would veto* the whole defense spending bill to make the point….

I wouldn’t bet on this…..

The President simply doesn’t need this fight on ‘defense jobs’ issue…..

The House members have also mentioned cost competition factors….

U.S. lawmakers are moving ahead with their pledge to fund the F136 alternate engine for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, inserting funding in the House Armed Services Committee’s markup of the 2011 defense authorization bill.

Made by a GE/Rolls-Royce team, the engine would compete with Pratt & Whitney’s F135.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said May 19 during the markup that “competition is warranted and critical and costs nothing more, according to the GAO.”

F136 supporters on Capitol Hill say competition could save millions of dollars by driving engine costs down and ensuring high quality from the engine-makers.

GE officials lauded the committee’s move.

“Given the enormity of the JSF program, competing engines on the aircraft is the best way to put the acquisition reform act into action,” said David Joyce, CEO of GE Aviation. “With the growing concern over cost overruns in defense programs, competition continues to be the best cost-control mechanism.”

The Pentagon is fighting the idea, saying an alternate engine will save no money and that it is a distraction for the troubled F-35 program. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he will recommend that President Obama veto the bill if it has alt-engine funds.

In addition to funding development work on the engine, the markup orders the Pentagon to budget for the engine in 2012.

The markup also takes a step to force DoD to actually use the funds authorized for F136 development by limiting F-35 development funds in 2011 “to 75 percent until the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics certifies that all funds for development and procurement of the F-35 competitive propulsion system have been obligated,” Air Land subcommittee chairman, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said…….

The buy has bipartisan support and will keep the British happy also…..

They will purchase about a 100 of the jet fighters……

More……..

* Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday expressed confidence that President Barack Obama would veto the defense authorization bill over a backup engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Gates has repeatedly said, including in congressional testimony, that he would strongly recommend the president veto any defense bills that continue the development of the secondary F-35 engine, made by General Electric and Britain’s Rolls Royce.

“I obviously did not issue the statement that I did in my testimony on the Hill without talking with the president first,” Gates said during a Pentagon conference Thursday. “I try not to climb too far out on a limb without knowing nobody is back there with a saw.”

House defense authorizers on Wednesday greenlit another $485 million for the development of the GE-Rolls Royce engine that the Pentagon and White House do not want.

If the final House version of the 2011 defense authorization bill maintains the secondary engine funds it would be the first step in what is likely to be a months-long standoff between the Obama administration and Congress.

But Gates indicated that Obama would follow through on the veto recommendation.

“We will have to see at the time if the decision has to be made, but he [Obama] was fully aware that I was going to make that statement, and frankly I think that if he were not prepared to substantiate that he probably would have waved me off at the time,” Gates said.

The House could take up the authorization bill as early as next week. The Senate Armed Services Committee has yet to write its version of the bill. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) strongly supports the second engine, but faces opposition from Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member, and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). Pratt & Whitney, the primary engine-maker, is based in Lieberman’s state and the company has lobbied for years to remain the sole engine-maker for the newest fighter jet…..

More……..

Right after Gates left the Commmittte vote FOR the second engine…..

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May 20, 2010 - Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Projections, The Economy, Updates | , , ,

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