F‑22 RAPTOR. Secretary
Gates, together with the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, recommended no further procurement of F‑22 aircraft,
thus ending the program at 187 planes. Senator Nelson, of Nebraska, supported their decision and voted
against any additional procurement of F-22s for a substantial cost savings.
F‑35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER (JSF). Secretary Gates recommended
buying 30 F‑35 aircraft in FY10, an increase from the 14 funded in FY09, which increases funding from $6.9 to
$11.2 billion. He called for buying 523 F‑35s, for a total of 2,443 aircraft over the program's life.
In support of Secretary Gates' proposal to end the second-engine program for the F-35, Senator Ben Nelson voted
to eliminate funding for the program. In other words, Senator Nelson supported Secretary Gates.
C‑17 GLOBEMASTER III. Secretary
Gates proposed ending C‑17 procurement, with no additional funding for the C‑17 program. Supporters of the program
believe that continued production of this aircraft will be needed to address future combat-related needs, and Senator
Nelson agrees. On September 30, 2009, Senator Nelson joined 68 of his colleagues to vote
for continued funding of the C‑17.