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Wynne Criticizes Young's F-22 Decision

UPDATED: Mike Wynne, former secretary of the Air Force, sharply criticized yesterday's decision by John Young, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, to approve advanced funding for a small number of F-22s. "This gives efficient acquisition a very bad name, as everyone knows this level of quantity will lead to high prices..."

The Pentagon plans to buy four more F-22s in the next supplemental spending bill and Young announced Wednesday that he has approved Air Force spending of as much as $50 million for advance procurement.

"This ADM allows for the procurement of parts support for 4 aircraft beyond the 183 total F-22's that DoD has already contracted for," Young's spokesman, Chris Isleib, said in an email.

Young pointed out in a statement that the draft Pentagon budget for 2010 does not include money for F-22s. The newly approved ADM provides "a bridge to a January decision by the next administration" on whether and how many more F-22s to buy, up to the congressionally mandated ceiling of $140 million for up to 20 F-22.

But Wynne, a committed supporter of the F-22, said he did not think the decision reflected either what Congress wanted or what the the defense secretary wanted. "To some this responds to what the SecDef said, but reflects neither his nor Congress’ intent," he said.

Before spending the new advance procurement money, the president must certify the country's need for the new planes, as required in section 134 of the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act.

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