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Gates Gets Out the Knife: A Quick Look

We'll have a more detailed look at winners and losers the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined today, but I thought it might help to get the discussion going and for those of you who weren't watching it live to list the biggies now...

  • F-35B will go on a "two year probation" and move to the "back of the line" on development behind the "C" and "A" model. More F/A-18EF Super Hornets will be purchased and older F/A-18 Hornets will have their service lives extended for the Marine Corps to make up for the "B" delay or cut.
  • EFV is gone. Savings will be used to upgrade the AAV with more armor, better electronics and weaponry.
  • Army SLAMRAAM canceled.
  • The Non-Line of Sight Launch System gone.
  • Drawdown by 27K Soldiers and up to 20K Marines from end strength in 2015
What's in -- Air Force:
  • More Air Force Reapers.
  • More EELVs.
  • Modernize F-15 radars.
  • New long range nuclear strike bomber -- that can be "optionally piloted."
Army:
  • More money for Army suicide prevention.
  • Modernize the Abrams, Bradley and Stryker vehicle.
  • More MC-12 surveillance aircraft.
  • Quicker development of Grey Eagle UAV.
  • Quicker development of vertical UAS.
Navy:
  • More money for jammers.
  • More money to upgrade and refit Marine Corps equipment used up in war.
  • More money and accelerated development of an unmanned strike capability.
  • Life extension for 150 F-18s.
  • New ship classes, including a destroyer, LCS, oilers and ocean surveillance craft.
Missile Defense:
  • More long range interceptors.
  • More radar sites in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Gates said the 2012 DoD budget request will be $553 billion, $13 billion less than planned in the previous FYDP. He added that the new FYDP numbers are $78 billion less than previously planned.

"We think we have tightened up a good bit," Gates said. "We think this is a sustainable budget."

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