Politics & Government

February 2, 2010

Defense Secretary Gates fires officer in charge of F-35 program

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates voiced strong dissatisfaction Monday with a lack of progress on the F-35 joint strike fighter program, publicly taking prime contractor Lockheed Martin to task. Gates said he decided to replace the Pentagon's manager overseeing the F-35, Marine Major Gen. David Heinz, with a higher ranking officer — a three star general or admiral — to run the program. Gates also said $614 million will be withheld from Lockheed to help the government cover rising F-35 expenses.

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