Prime Target

The F-35 Lightning II is red meat for budget-cutters, the USAF’s top civilian leader told reporters Tuesday. “As programs get larger, they look like better targets” for reduction, said Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. He hopes that doesn’t happen; he said USAF is counting on the F-35 to meet the vision of an all-stealth force. He wants the airplane “as soon as we can get it.” However, if Congress is adamant about delaying the program a year, Wynne believes the Air Force must buy more F-22A Raptors to bridge the gap. He said that fighter inventories just can’t be cut much further.