Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who will remain as the Head of Defense under President-elect Barack Obama, has several decisions to make about whether or not to continue the adoption of specific equipment and weapons systems. Here are some of the major programs he must choose from and their outlook:
HUMVEE OF THE FUTURE
Manufacturer: Boeing Co. (Chicago) and SAIC Inc. (San Diego)
Price tag: $160 billion
What it is supposed to do: The next generation of heavily armored ground vehicles is supposed to replace Bradley fighting vehicles, tanks and Paladin artillery.
Outlook: Likely to be delayed to make room for less-pricey and proven systems.
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Corp. (Bethesda, Md.)
Price tag: $142 million a piece; critics say cost is higher.
What it is supposed to do: Penetrate enemy air defenses and spot targets with sophisticated radar.
Outlook: The Air Force wanted 381 F-22s. The present budget provides for 183. The Defense chief may support some additional planes but not as many as the Air Force wants.
Manufacturer: Not selected
Price tag: Unknown
What it is supposed to do: Replace the 50-year-old B-52s. The Air Force wants a plane that can fly 2,000 miles without refueling and carry 28,000 pounds of bombs.
Outlook: Officials may favor cheaper alternatives: unmanned drones that can deliver bombs at a fraction of the cost.
Manufacturer: General Dynamics Corp. (Falls Church, Va.)
Price tag: $5.6 million to $7 million per vehicle. (Original cost was about $3 million.)
What it is supposed to do: Strykers were to be an interim system for moving large numbers of ground troops around dangerous urban environments.
Outlook: The versatile vehicles have been valuable in Iraq. The Pentagon may decide to delay the Future Combat Systems and build more Strykers instead.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who will remain as the Head of Defense under…
by Tactical-Life.com / Dec 11, 2008