House Cuts Major Programs



The House Appropriations Committees Defense panel just voted out its 2008 Pentagon budget today.

(Photo: Boeing FCS)

A release from the committee shows reductions in the Armys Future Combat Systems program, a cut in missile defense spending and the cancellation of the Armys Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program.

The committee boosted spending on shipbuilding, bought Stryker vehicles, F-35 Lightning II JSFs, MV and CV-22 Ospreys and F-22 Raptors.

The committee also put restrictions on the use of security contractors in combat zones, curtailed any funds for permanent bases in Iraq and enacted language that prohibits torture of detainees.

One surprise is the inclusion of $288 million in R&D funds to continue the Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Program. This replacement for the current AAV was considered by many to be all but dead going into the budget process. But now its being kept on life support. The EFV is indeed a revolutionary leap over the current AAV, but its complexity has kept the program in limbo due to delays and performance issues all along.

Top Navy acquisition officials have proposed that maybe the performance specs should be reduced to match the reality experienced by engineers in testing. Its unclear as of now if that has happened, but it looks as if House appropriators were convinced enough of the Marine Corps case to keep the speedy gator on track.

Click HERE to view the preliminary HAC-D report.

CORRECTION: From HAC-D..."For the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter - funding for production is zeroed out, but research and development activities will continue."

-- Christian

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