July 25, 2007 (by Eric L. Palmer) - A key congressional committee is set to approve the military's request for $6.1 billion to buy 12 Lockheed Martin F-35 jet fighters.
The House Appropriations Committee will add $200 million to improve production $480 million to continue development of the second engine source. All of this will be part of a $459.3 billion fiscal 2008 budget that the panel will ask members to OK today.
Last year the panel cut the number of fighters requested and shifted the money into research. This latest effort will reduce risk of the production schedule falling behind because of previous U.S. congressional funding cuts.