Associated Press reporter Anne Gearan writes about Gates' strongly worded message that there is no need for two engine makers during his visit to the F35 manufacturing plant yesterday....The Obama administration renewed a threat Monday to veto a $680 billion defense spending bill if it includes money for two separate engines for the next-generation jet fighter, a luxury the Pentagon says it cannot afford.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, touring the Lockheed Martin Corp. plant where the first of the $100 million planes are being assembled, said there is no need for two engine suppliers.
"We have looked at the business case a number of times," Gates said. "The general conclusion is that it would cost several billion dollars in addition," and cause headaches for production down the road.
In an era of defense penny-pinching, Gates said, "we feel strongly there is not a need for the second engine."