More cuts in defense spending a “given”: Air Force

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Further cuts in U.S. military spending are certain, even if Congress and the White House find a way to avert damaging automatic reductions, a top U.S. Air Force general told Reuters as prospects for such a deal appeared to dim.

Lieutenant General Charles Davis, the top military official in charge of Air Force acquisition, said the Defense Department was working hard to identify ways to safeguard its most critical weapons programs but there were no easy answers.

At this point, he said, the prospect of further cuts to the overall Pentagon budget means every single acquisition program faces some reductions and schedule changes, which in turn would drive up the cost of individual weapons.

Mounting budget pressures also meant the Air Force would not be able to start developing new radar and satellites to replace aging current systems, Davis said, citing examples including the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) or Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).

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