Friday, February 26, 2010

Pentagon spokesman on the F136: "This money can clearly be better spent buying capabilities that our warfighters do need."

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell spoke to reporters about the alternate engine at yesterday's briefing. Calling the F136 a "colossal waste of money", Morrell reiterated that an alternate engine will cost taxpayers an additional $3 billion and is a "luxury we cannot afford".

Highlights are below and the full transcript is here.

  • "The secretary has made it clear to you all, and he's made it clear to the Congress time and time again, that the pursuit of a second engine, in his estimation, is a colossal waste of money, and that it will not result in any competition between companies."
  • "The so-called great engine wars of the '80s, which, you know, despite how -- you know, revisionist history would suggest that it resulted in some great savings to the taxpayer. I think the actual analysis shows that, if there was a benefit, it was negligible."
  • "There is -- to complete that engine would cost us another $2.9 billion. So we're looking at $4.2 billion being spent on an engine that we believe is not necessary and that likely will have the same problems in development that the Pratt & Whitney engine has already had, and that this money can clearly be better spent buying capabilities that our warfighters do need. This is a luxury we cannot afford."
  • "And it is such a redline with the secretary that he announced to you up front when he rolled out this budget that it is no longer a conditional veto recommendation on his part, regardless of whether it impacts the overall program or not."
  • "It's $4 billion that we can't afford to spend, on things that we don't need or are duplicative. We need that money to support our warfighters in the fights they are in now. That's what our focus is on."

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