Congressional defense appropriators have agreed to allow a multiyear contract for F-22A Raptor procurement, but decided against allowing foreign sales of the futuristic fighter after considering otherwise.
Their conference agreement includes authority for a multiyear procurement of 60 F-22A aircraft, beginning with 20 fully funded aircraft in fiscal 2007, according to the legislation's report in the Congres-sional Record.
The conferees said they anticipate that the Defense Department will budget for two subsequent lots of 20 aircraft in FY '08 and '09. The House and Senate defense appropriators said they "realigned" $210 million in additional funds provided by both the House and the Senate from the base budget line to the advance procurement line to provide the needed funds to do so, bringing the total budget for advance procurement to $687.4 billion (DAILY, Sept. 25).
"The conferees expect that the department of the Air Force will continue to seek improved efficiencies in this program," lawmakers said.
Japan was believed to be the only country possibly able to afford the Raptor, although even that was doubted within Washington. Rep. David Obey (Wis.), the top Democratic appropriator in the House, sponsored the original language years ago against foreign sales of the Raptor after the Pentagon argued for the fighter, in part because other U.S. fighters were sold abroad (DAILY, July 19).
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