NIGHTHAWK SET FOR RETIREMENT DEFENSE BUDGET PUTS PROMINENT AIRCRAFT DOWN.Byline: Lisa Friedman Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The F-117A Nighthawk nighthawk: see goatsucker.
Any of several species of North and South American birds in the whippoorwill family (Caprimulgidae) that are buff, reddish, or grayish brown, usually with light spots or patches, and 6–14 in. , the stealth fighter that launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, is ``long in the tooth'' and among the Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, defense programs being put out to pasture, Pentagon officials said Monday as they unveiled a record $493.3 billion budget that eliminates some of the region's most prominent aircraft.
In addition to retiring the Nighthawk, the budget calls for retiring the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, both modified by Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. workers in Palmdale, while making room for the unmanned Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft. That aircraft, a Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is an aerospace and defense conglomerate that is the result of the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company is the third largest defense contractor for the U.S. program, also is assembled in Palmdale.
``This is a function of modernization on the Air Force's part,'' Vice Adm. Evan Chanik, the Joint Staff's director of force structure, said Monday of the cuts. ``It allows them to take older aircraft that are getting long in the tooth, that are costing more to maintain, more to fly (and) allows them to modernize the force.''
Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Dianne Knippel said the company is ``disappointed'' with the Pentagon's decision on the Nighthawk and U-2s, but noted that with the president's annual proposed budget, ``submission is always the first step.''
New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). Sens. Pete Domenici Persondata
NAME Domenici, Pietro Vichi
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Pete Domenici
SHORT DESCRIPTION United States Senator from New Mexico
DATE OF BIRTH May 7, 1932
PLACE OF BIRTH Albuquerque, New Mexico
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH
Pietro Vichi "Pete" Domenici and Jeff Bingaman Jesse Francis "Jeff" Bingaman Jr. (born October 3, 1943) is the junior U.S. Senator from New Mexico. He has been in the Senate since 1983 and is a member of the Democratic Party. Bingaman was Attorney General of New Mexico from 1978 until his election to the U.S. , who represent Holloman Air Force Base Holloman Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Otero County, about 6 miles SW of Alamogordo, New Mexico. It is the home of the 49th Fighter Wing. 49th Fighter Wing
The 49th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Holloman Air Force Base. from where the F-117As are deployed, vowed to review the Air Force plans to ensure the aircraft is not being retired prematurely. The proposed plan calls for retiring 10 aircraft, with the remainder to be put out of service in 2008.
While the Nighthawk may be what some defense experts call ``aging iron,'' Dan Goure, a senior analyst for the Lexington Institute defense think tank in Washington, D.C., questioned the wisdom of retiring it with only a handful of F-22s and no F-35 joint strike fighters online yet to replace them.
``It's pretty damn risky,'' Goure said. Likewise for the U-2, he said, ``The question is: Do we really have anything at present to replace it?''
The 2007 budget also delivered a long-anticipated blow to Long Beach, officially revealing that the Pentagon will not request any more Boeing Co. C-17 military cargo transports once the current order for 180 planes is fulfilled in 2008.
While the plan calls for storing production equipment to keep open the possibility of procuring more C-17s in the future, officials noted that stopping and reopening the line would double the price of the aircraft, making it an unlikely scenario.
Without the intervention of Congress, the U.S. faces the closure of the last assembly line capable of building large transport planes, said David Sommers, spokesman for Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County Supervisor Don Knabe. The Long Beach plant employs 6,500.
``That's the last one. That's it,'' Sommers said.
Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731