The Apr. 6 announcement by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates of program cuts and realignments was merely the start of a long debate over which will prevail, which will be reversed and which traded off for others. Land-based tactical air was one of the big losers. The U.S. Air Force has lost most hope of getting more F-22s—or indeed any new fighters of any kind until the F-35A is operational. Instead, Gates indicated that the F-35A ramp-up would be faster. He also indicated that 250 ...

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