The Senate today approved a $644.3 billion fiscal 2012 defense budget bill that seeks better cost- control of the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
The bill also would hold defense contractors responsible for fake parts in weapons and calls for sanctions on foreign financial institutions that do business with the Central Bank of Iran.
The defense authorization bill, which sets military policy and spending targets, cuts about $27 billion from the Pentagon’s request for the fiscal year that started Oct.1. It passed by a vote of 93-7.
The bill also includes about $18 billion for Department of Energy program’s under Senate Armed Services Committee jurisdiction, for a total of $662 billion.
The bill includes a provision that requires the Pentagon to sign a fixed-price contract with Lockheed Martin for a future lot of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
The measure requires the Defense Department to use a fixed- price contract with an incentive fee for low-rate initial production of the fifth F-35 lot. The provision requires Lockheed to absorb 100 percent of costs “above the target cost specified in the contract.”
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