In the latest Statement of Administration Policy covering national security matters, the Obama Administration stands firm on the President’s veto declaration regarding additional F-22s, but it stops short on other key programs where it disagrees with the House Appropriations Committee’s version of the 2010 defense spending bill, under full House consideration this week. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine did not spark an outright veto but a cautionary proviso that unless lawmakers abandon their attempt to force the alternate engine on the Pentagon “senior advisors would recommend that [the President] veto the bill. That may not be enough to do the trick, since it took an affirmative declaration directly from Obama to kill additional Raptors. The Administration also reminded lawmakers that it does not want more C-17 airlifters and that it “strongly opposes” any attempt to push the KC-X tanker program toward a two-tanker decision rather than a single winner. The Administration also isn’t too keen on “buy America” hindrances that seem “inconsistent with our international agreements.”
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.