Lockheed’s Statement on the F-22 (Et Al.)
After my wrap-up piece on the defense budget was published, Lockheed Martin’s spokesman for the F-22 Raptor program, Rob Fuller, got back to me with a statement about how the F-22′s manufacturer views Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ decision to halt the program at 187 planes:
“Today, Secretary Gates announced the Department of Defense’s priorities for the future. Several Lockheed Martin programs, including F-22, F-35, VH-71, LCS, and TSAT were discussed. We’re assessing the impact of the Secretary’s decisions on all affected programs. As we move forward with the budget process, Lockheed Martin will continue to support our customers and work to deliver affordable solutions that meet their strategic and operational needs.”
Black Monday for Lockheed? Not quite.
The F-22, TSAT satellite and VH-71 presidential helicopter were axed. But Gates hugged the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Littoral Combat Ship tightly. I suppose putting out a statement on all these programs at once is Lockheed’s version of presenting a stiff upper lip. And with justification.