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US lawmakers seek to extend F-22 jet production

The US House Armed Services Committee The term Armed Services Committee could refer to:
  • U.S. House Committee on Armed Services
  • U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
 has passed an amendment extending production of the F-22 Raptor “F-22” redirects here. For other uses, see F-22 (disambiguation).

The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation American fighter aircraft that utilizes fourth-generation stealth technology.
, a stealth fighter jet the Pentagon has sought to scrub.

Lawmakers voted 31 to 30 on Wednesday to provide 369 million dollars over two years to purchase parts to construct 12 more of the fighters, which are built 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.
 and Boeing.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates had sought to cap production at 187 jets, meaning only four more would be built. But many Republicans balked balk  
v. balked, balk·ing, balks

1. To stop short and refuse to go on: The horse balked at the jump.

 at the administration's plans.

The Air Force has also long disagreed with halting production, and just last year called for a fleet of 381 fighters.

Last year Gates sacked the service's two top leaders officially over two major nuclear-related blunders in a move which was also largely suspected to have been fueled by their position on the F-22 program.

In 2009, the Pentagon spent 2.9 billion dollars on the planes, which cost some 200 million dollars each. A program that emerged out of the Cold War, the fighter is accused by its critics of not having been adapted to current conflicts. Supporters though say that there is a need to ensure US air superiority That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force.  as China and Russia invest in fighter jets.

The Raptor has not been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

The procurement spending came as an amendment to the Pentagon's 2010 defense budget for 550.4 billion dollars. The panel approved the spending bill by a 61 to zero vote.

The budget bill also provides 130 billion dollars for "overseas contingency operations A military operation that is either designated by the Secretary of Defense as a contingency operation or becomes a contingency operation as a matter of law (10 United States code (USC) 101[a][13]). It is a military operation that: a. ," including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a departure from the George W. Bush administration, which had funded the wars through emergency supplemental appropriations.
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Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Jun 18, 2009
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