Live-blogging: Q&A II

/ April 6, 2009 at 5:00 AM

* Gates concerned about jobs to be lost by cancellations but notes increases also part of the plan. Direct employment on the F-22 program about 22,000 this year, to decline to 13,000 in FY-11 as last aircraft rolls off the line. But, F-35 already employs 30,000+, to go to 82,000 in FY-11. Decisions "do a pretty good job of taking care of the industrial base there."

"We cannot be oblivious to the consequences of these decisions," he says, but national security interests trump.

* Irregular warfare constituency to have "a seat at the table" for the first time.

* Missile defense: Cartwright says SM-3 and THAAD needed; cites North Korea launch as proof. For fourth site of ground-based interceptor -- sufficient funds in FY-09 to carry forward as QDR is conducted and negotiations continue with European countries.

* KEI program: Cartwright says great utility in boost-phase systems. Need more analysis."What do we need in the boost phase?"

* Refueling tankers: Gates has talked with Murtha on split-buy strategy. "I still believe that it is not the best deal for the taxpayer to go with a split buy."

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