Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
Mr. Chairman, I think the House needs to understand the history of this. Back in 1997, when the F-22 was first being contemplated, there was a controversy about whether it should be built, whether it was needed, given the capability of our other aircraft. We were told that we had to go ahead and construct the plane because we had given away so much technology by selling other high performance aircraft, F-15s, F-16s, that we had to regain our technological edge.
So I said, well, if that is the case, if we are going to build the thing, at least let's make certain that we hang onto our technology edge this time. Hence, the language in section 8057.
Now, I must confess that times may have changed, but I don't know that we are yet at the point that would justify removing these limitations. My own preference, given my biases about arms sales around the world, my own preference would be to impose the same kind of limitations on new aircraft that we are developing, such as the F-35, as we impose now on the F-22. But I recognize that that is not in the cards, given the mindset of the Congress these days.
So given that fact, I would simply say that I have indicated on numerous occasions that I have an open mind and I would be willing to be persuaded, but I am not yet convinced that we are at the point where we ought to relinquish the controls on the export of this aircraft.
I recognize what the committee is about to do, but I am significantly uncomfortable with it, and I am certainly not convinced that we have reached the point where we ought to remove these restrictions. I would simply ask the chairman, I would hope that if the committee does intend to accept this amendment, that it will have an in-depth discussion with the Pentagon to make certain that we know exactly what we are doing in terms of the kind of technology that we might be letting loose, that it
might not be in the interest of this country to do.
Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I want to assure the gentleman that protecting this technology is extremely important to this chairman. This is a super aircraft. It is just an unbelievable weapons system. Mr. Murtha and I have both seen it fly, we have talked with the pilots who fly it, we have seen the systems that they use, and this gives us technology superiority in the air. Anyone that goes into [Page: H4265]
any kind of a battle will tell you that
they want to make sure that those aircraft overhead belong to us and not to the other guys.
So we are going to be extremely careful before we allow this to happen, that the technology will be protected and that it will be available, the aircraft, the sales would only be available to those who are unquestionable supporters, and allies, of the United States.
Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I would simply say that is useful, but I am still concerned about the fact that we will be allowing a very high-technology aircraft to wind up in the hands of people who may be allies today, but God knows what they are going to be tomorrow.