The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has cut $226 million out of the Air Force request for money to produce the A-10 attack plane.
The reduction, if adopted by the rest of Congress, would be a big economic blow to Hagerstown, Md., where Fairchild Industries manufactures the A-10.
The subcommittee decided to hold A-10 production in fiscal 1978 to its current annual rate of 96 planes rather than raise it to 144 as requested by the Air Force.
Congress has expressed doubts about the A-10, with one major question whether it could survive against the antiaircraft defenses the Soviets would put up against it in Europe. The General Accounting Office raised that issue in a recent report.
The A-10 is a low-level attack aircraft carrying a big gun for use against tanks.
All told, the subcommittee said it was recommending appropriating $111 billion for Pentagon programs for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 1977. Although $2.9 billion below President Carter's request, the recommended total is $6.6 billion more than the total appropriated for the current fiscal year.
Among the amounts approved for individual programs were $511.3 million for the 96 A-10 aircraft; $1.1 billion for five B-1 bombers; $207 million for three command and control planes, and $40.6 million for the air-launched cruise missile.
In going over the Pentagon's manpower requests, the subcommittee recommended assigning 14,000 servicemen working at post exchanges and officers' clubs to other duties and prohibiting retired military personnel from receiving retirement pay if employed by the federal government after Oct. 1.
Since the House and Senate Armed Services committees are still in conference to set ceilings for appropriations for military items, the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee actions are still subjects to change by actions there.