A Case to Make

Sen. Carl Levin told defense reporters Tuesday that the Air Force has two selling jobs to do with the new Congress. The new head of the Armed Services Committee said one job is to “persuade us that there’s real competition” in the effort to select a new aerial refueling aircraft. And, second, the service must keep Congressional leadership apprised and convinced that multiyear procurement contracts—such as with the F-22 stealth fighter—are saving enough money to justify the reduced flexibility that comes with such arrangements. Levin, who opposed the F-22 MYP, acknowledges that it had wide support in the Senate after an aggressive lobbying campaign by Lockheed Martin. Asked if he has any residual resentment about the F-22 campaign, Levin said he holds no grudges “for people exercising their constitutional rights.”