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Deficit Panel Leaders Reject Gates on Shielding Defense Budget

A proposal by leaders of a federal deficit-reduction panel, suggesting as much as $100 billion in defense cuts in 2015, contradicts the goals of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and faces a fight in Congress.

The plan, offered Nov. 10 by deficit panel co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, calls for canceling a version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet and ending production of the Textron Inc.-Boeing Co. tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey and a General Dynamics Corp. Marine Corps combat vehicle. It also would terminate a new Army ground combat vehicle that Boeing, BAE Systems Plc and General Dynamics will bid on.