Defense Secretary Robert Gates is proposing deep cuts to some big weapons programs such as the F-22 fighter jet as the Pentagon takes a hard look at how it spends money. Gates announced a broad range of cuts Monday to weapons spending, saying he plans to cut programs ranging from a new helicopter for the president to ending production of the $140 billion F-22 fighter jet.
The Army’s modernization program would be scaled back, while a new satellite system and a search-and-rescue helicopter would be cut.
Gates says his budget will “profoundly reform” the way the Pentagon buys weapons and does business.
To fight new threats from insurgents, Gates is proposing more funding for special forces and other tools.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is overhauling military spending to “profoundly reform how this department does business.”
Outlining a $534 billion budget for 2009 that will slash funds for major weapons programs, Gates said Monday his moves amount to an “unorthodox approach” that would shift spending goals to concentrate on “wars we are in today and scenarios for the years ahead.”
At a news conference to outline his budget, Gates says he closely consulted with President Barack Obama and top military leaders, but limited outside advice “because of the scope and significance of the changes.”