Lockheed Martin stops lobbying for F-22

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramApril 22, 2009 

Lockheed Martin will not spend any more time and effort trying to overturn Defense Secretary Robert Gates' decision to halt production of F-22 Raptor fighter jets, a top company official said Tuesday.

After making a vigorous case for the F-22 with Gates, other senior Pentagon officials and Congress in recent months, Lockheed plans to move on and meet its commitments for other major defense programs such as the F-35 joint strike fighter.

"We had our chance to lobby this matter," Bruce Tanner, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

"We think we had a full hearing of that discussion," Tanner said. "We are disappointed by the decisions, but we will accept those and go on."

Lockheed had lobbied the Pentagon and Congress for months to counter public statements by Gates and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England that the Air Force did not need to buy more F-22s after pending orders for 187 planes are filled.

The company even bought ads in Washington newspapers and on bus-stop benches extolling the F-22's virtues.

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