Here We Go Again

The Bush Administration has decided to attempt to eliminate—for the second time—the alternate Joint Strike Fighter engine, the one being developed by the GE-Rolls Royce team. When questioned about it at the Pentagon budget briefing Monday afternoon, Vice Adm. Steve Stanley, the Joint Staff force structure chief, repeated last year’s argument that the cost outweighs the risk. It was that “risk factor” that got lawmakers riled up a year ago, when they held special hearings on the alternate engine issue. In the end, Congress kept the second engine but directed the Pentagon to get some independent analyses, but they are not due until March 15.