Senate Backs Alternate JSF Engine, No C-17s:

The Senate Armed Services Committee markup of the 2008 defense authorization bill like the House version would keep an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Unlike their House counterparts, Senate authorizers did not reduce the JSF research and development account; instead they added $480 million to pay for the competitive engine program. On strategic airlift, the Senate committee’s markup does not follow the House version, which favors adding C-17s and retiring older C-5s. Senate authorizers did not provide funds for additional new C-17s and, apparently, want to keep the restriction preventing the Air Force from retiring C-5As. The markup summary notes support for “critical efforts to efficiently and effectively modernize the force, including C-5 Galaxy strategic airlift aircraft Reliability Enhancement Re-engining Program.” And, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee want to limit retirements of C-130E/H and KC-135E aircraft. Get ready for the conference round.