[T]he Obama admin has decided to delay purchase of a new tanker by five years and cut out altogether the Next Gen Bomber program . . . [but] no final decision has been made . . . . the F-22 line will be kept open, with production funding for as many as 40 more planes, and that the F-35 will be trimmed back from plans in 2010, but ramp back up in 2011 . . . though . . . [there are] no numbers to attach to [F-35] Lightning II buys.
The Next Generation Bomber has been called the B-3 by pundits and was reputedly similar in concept to the B-2 stealth bomber (long range, stealth, flying wing with a reasonably large payload), but more modern in its technology. This project is purportedly in early R&D stages with the basic concept itself something that has just been decided upon.
The new tanker is to replace the KC-135 (it looks like a commercial airliner with the tube hanging out that fighter planes touch their nose to while in flight to refuel). A first attempt at a tanker contract was embroiled in corruption exposed by Senator John McCain. A second attempt at a tanker contact was awarded to a consortium led by European aircraft maker Airbus, but cancelled after an appeal by Boeing related to the procurement process, which was currently in the process of being reopened.
The proposed F-22 purchase increase is reduced from a previous report that 60 more F-22s than originally planned were proposed. A temporary or permanent cut in F-35 procurement to offset increased F-22 procurement was implied when an increase in F-22 production was anounced, but not expressly stated. The F-22 is a fighter plane designed for air to air combat and small payload stealth bombing missions early in a conflict that replaces the F-15 fighter in service now. The F-35 is intended as a a multipurpose replacement for the F-16 and F-18 (at least), and comes in a plain vanilla Air Force version (the F-35A), a vertical landing version for the Marines and foreign allies (the F-35B), and an American aircraft carrier version (the F-35C).