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August 19, 2009—President Barack Obama on Monday reiterated his staunch opposition to funding what he calls wasteful military projects such as the F-22 and the F-35 competing engine.

In a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix, the President said it didn’t make sense to spend nearly $2 billion on more F-22s in Fiscal 2010—as the Senator Armed Services Committee had supported, but the full Senate later overturned—when the nation “can move ahead with a fleet of newer, more affordable aircraft,” meaning the F-35.

Obama also decried the ongoing attempts by Congress to fund the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine for the F-35, the competing powerplant to Pratt & Whitney’s F135, saying it’s wrong to continue to invest in the F136 “when one reliable engine will do just fine.” (Defense Secretary Robert Gates also recently reaffirmed his desire to ax the F136, downplaying any purported cost and development issues with the F135.)

Obama continued, saying such “waste would be unacceptable at any time, but at a time when we're fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, it's inexcusable.” 

(Full transcript of Obama speech)