Fate of Navy Stealth Jet Expected by Monday

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Defense Secretary Dick Cheney is expected to decide the future of the troubled A-12 Stealth aircraft by Monday, a Navy spokesman said Friday.

Lt. Dave Wray said Cheney is scheduled to discuss the $50-billion program today with Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III.

Garrett, apparently seeking a final review of all options, got a one-day extension Friday on his deadline to recommend whether to scrap the attack plane program.

Wray said Navy officials believe Cheney will make his decision by Monday because that is the day he must submit documents for his next budget to the Office of Management and Budget.


“Presumably, he’s got to tell them something about the A-12,” Wray said.

A Defense Department source said Garrett is expected to urge Cheney to proceed with the program by absorbing some of the contractors’ cost overruns and by buying fewer aircraft over a longer period.