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Cobb County awaiting Pentagon's decision on F-22s

ATLANTA (AP) - Cobb County is awaiting a Pentagon announcement
about the fate of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, which is assembled
by 2,000 workers at Lockheed Martin Corp. in Marietta.

The announcement should come Monday when Defense Secretary
Robert Gates is expected to unveil a "fundamental shift" in U.S.
military priorities at an afternoon news conference.

The Pentagon has contracted to buy 183 F-22 from Lockheed
Martin.

More than 140 have been built. Current orders would keep
the Marietta assembly line open until late 2011.

Gates recently made clear that high-tech weapons better suited
for Cold War battles are not top budgetary priorities while
low-tech conflicts continue in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Lockheed Martin spokesman for the F-22 program, Rob Fuller,
says it's premature to speculate on what Gates will recommend.


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