Budget cuts would reduce Air Force F-35 orders
According to Reuters, 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 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. 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.
The Air Force said acquisitions of several weapons systems built by Lockheed Martin – new missile warning satellites, C-130J transport planes and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – were already being delayed.