Live-blogging: Q&A III

/ April 6, 2009 at 5:00 AM

* In good shape on missile defense re: threats from rogue states.

* Cartwright: ABL's key attribute is directed energy. In right place at right time can "catch" an ICBM at the boost phase. But: Rudimentary. "Needs to go further." Tech should continue, but not ready for production.

* Cost savings across the FYDP: "We will have to sit down" and add them all up, Gates says. Decisions went to comptroller only Thursday; only when details go to OMB  "will we be in a position . . . to talk about how much we have saved" or how much more is in FYDP.

* Gates: Shipbuilding plans "inefficient." "Having all three built" by same company in same yard would be much more efficient. That said, "if we do that," must smoothly restart DDG-51 program.

* Gates: Increasing the buy of the JSF, but taken a "more cautious approach" to ramping up production over five years. "Several dozen aircraft" below original planned buy.

* Cartwright: More JSF test assets coming.