Budget Maneuvers

Pentagon chief Bob Gates reportedly has told the Air Force it cannot defer the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program or new engines for the E-8 Joint STARS fleet as part of its budget cutting moves in 2011, according to a report by Bloomberg News Service (via Business Week). Last summer when top Pentagon officials instructed the services to each deliver some budget-cutting solutions for the future years defense program, USAF proposed canceling the C-130 AMP that would provide cockpit and communications upgrades for 221 C-130H models and which has just completed its development test and evaluation phase. Last fall, Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, noted the projected cut was purely budget driven. Key lawmakers reacted to news that the Joint STARS re-engining might be on the chopping block, noting then that Ash Carter, Pentagon acquisition boss, deemed it a keeper.