Defending No Second Engine

Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, told lawmakers during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday that the Air Force simply cannot afford an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. He said it would cost “$2 billion that we don’t have.” Despite Congressional pressure last year to keep a second engine effort going, the Pentagon left it out of its 2008 budget request, and DOD officials continue to say the risk of having only one engine-maker outweighs the cost of two efforts. In earlier testimony Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne expressed a preference for the alternate engine, however he acknowledged Tuesday that the issue comes down to money—the budget is too tight.