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Could Budget Cuts Cost Pentagon Its High-Tech Edge?


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Lockheed Martin's possible Vulture unmanned aerial vehicle

Lockheed Martin expects its Vulture unmanned communications plane to fly at 70,000 feet for half a decade.

Lockheed Martin

Futuristic military projects outlined in the just-issued Strategic Plan 2009 of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) include planes that stay aloft for five years, vaccines that take only weeks to develop, and surveillance drones that are launched into combat atop ballistic missiles. But are expensive projects like these worth developing as the Pentagon pares back its budget?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently axed the Future Combat Systems program and the F-22 fighter, leading many to suspect that high-concept research and development ventures could be next to go — even as some say that would be shortsighted and might jeopardize America's technological competitiveness.

From Fox News
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