Defense chief announces weapons cuts

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday afternoon announced a slate of proposed cuts to military weapons programs that will surely ignite major fights on Capitol Hill this year.

Gates announced several major cuts: halting production of F-22 fighter jet, eliminating the VH-71 presidential helicopter program, killing the Air Force's CSAR-X Combat Search and Rescue vehicle, ending the Transformational Satellite Program, putting the Navy's DDG 1000 shipbuilding program on probation, cutting the missile defense program by $1.4 billion and canceling the vehicle component of the Army's Future Combat Systems program.

"This is a reform budget," Gates said during a press briefing.

The Defense secretary also announced that 13,000 new civil servants would be hired in fiscal 2010 to replace contractors who provide support services to the Pentagon.

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