The Air Force now believes it should only reduce the service by 20,000 people, rather than 40,000. However, a senior service official speaking on background Friday said that the reduction number depends on getting additional funding (see above)—without that the Air Force will have to stick with the 40,000 cut. If service leaders succeed in gaining extra funding, the new 2009 end strength number would be 328,000. If not, the bottom will be around 316,000. (This must be what Gen. Tom Hobbins was talking about in December.)
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.