Business Update with Mark Lacter |

Aircraft program put on 'probation' as part of budget trimming

It's the Marine Corps's F-35 jet, which is being built by Lockheed and has proven to be expensive and unreliable. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the two-year probation as part of an overall plan to save $102 billion in military spending through 2016. The Marines will thus join the Air Force and Navy in delaying acquisition of the Pentagon's biggest weapons project. But this could get interesting because the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is Calfiornia Republican Buck McKeon, who happens to represent parts of the defense-focused Antelope Valley. "I don't like it, but he has been working on these things for a long time and I just got hit with this," McKeon said when asked if he agreed with Gates's plan. "I need some time to think about this a little bit." Guess it's time to see just how committed the Republicans are in cutting the budget. (Reuters)