The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment which strips funding for additional F-22 Raptors in a Defense Authorization bill.
A 58-40 vote opted not to keep $1.75 billion in place for seven more of the F-22s, which are built at Lockheed Martin’s plant in Marietta, Ga.
Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson is upset with the vote.
“We must be prepared for whatever will come in the 21st century, and we have learned that you cannot underestimate what may come," Sen Isakson says.
"The F-22 is the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world with the latest stealth technology to reduce detection by radar, and this plane is vital to 21st century American military superiority.
"I’m extremely disappointed the Senate did not recognize how essential the continued production of this aircraft is to our national security as well as to the many local economies and thousands of workers that will be devastated as a result of these cuts.”
He and Saxby Chambliss have been vocal in trying to keep the funding and avoid a possible presidential veto.
Chambliss made the point last week that this is an issue to be decided by lawmakers, not the Department of Defense:
“To come up here and say that the Department of Defense didn’t request any F-22s and therefore we’re to salute and go marching on is something we’ve never done, we did not do in this bill, and we should not do in this bill.”
Lookheed Martin spokesman Rob Fuller said the company only had this official statement. "We will support the U.S. Government's Final Decision on the F-22 program."
Loss of the fighter jet could mean a loss of up to 2,000 jobs for Cobb County, but officials aren't too worried. They say the program has three more years to go and Lookheed is also increasing production of another plane at the plant, the F-35.
Contributors: Edgar Treiguts