Gates Axes F-22 in Pentagon Budget Overhaul
Defense sec cuts deep, readies dep't for this century's wars
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2009 1:54 PM CDT
President Obama, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, announces a new comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, March 27, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates today recommended halting production of the F-22 fighter jet and scrapping a new helicopter for the president as he outlined deep cuts to many of the military's biggest weapons programs. Gates said his $534 billion budget proposal represents a "fundamental overhaul" in defense acquisition and reflects a shift in priorities from fighting conventional wars to the newer threats US forces face from insurgents in places such as Afghanistan.

The department must ensure it has the right programs and money to "fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years to come, while at the same time providing a hedge against other risks," Gates said as he revealed details of his budget for the next fiscal year. Gates says he closely consulted with President Obama and top military leaders, but limited outside advice "because of the scope and significance of the changes."