Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to cut orders for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter over the next three to five years as part of broader plan to reduce Pentagon spending by $100 billion, the Star-Telegram is reporting in Thursday's newspaper.
Gates will brief Congress today on key components of a new five-year spending plan for the Department of Defense, including yet another restructuring of the F-35 program to compensate for repeated delays in development and testing.
Defense analysts said few details of Gates intentions have surfaced, but he is widely expected to announce cancellation of the Marines’ $13 billion Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, another weapons program plagued by years of delays and rising costs.
Analysts said they also expect one or more other big ticket weapons programs to be targeted for axing as part of the 2012 budget proposal President Obama will send to Congress next month.
But the Pentagon will likely just scale back the number of F-35s it had previously planned to order from Lockheed Martin over the next few years to pay for continued development and testing.