Defense budget work
Pentagon officials are working behind the scenes to finish the latest annual defense budget to be sent to Congress in the next several weeks. Budget officials have been asked by the new administration to fit all programs into a total spending request of about $527 billion.
Budget cuts are expected to include sharp reductions in numbers of tactical military aircraft and perhaps scaling back plans for building three of the Navy’s new high-tech $3.3 billion warships known as DDX. Also on the chopping block are numbers of F22 jets.
Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the chief of staff, told reporters Feb. 17 that the service is unlikely to seek to buy the 381 jets it once said were needed. Gen. Schwartz said he will be discussing plans to buy F-22s with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in the near future.
Asked about comments by Adm. Mike Mullen, the chair-