Defense

July 18, 2012

Defense firms warn of job losses from budget cuts

by Donna Cassata
Associated Press

Leader of the nation’s major defense contractors warned July 18 of job layoffs and disruptions in manufacturing if Congress fails to agree on an alternative to automatic budget cuts.

Robert J. Stevens, chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, said the across-the-board reductions could result in layoffs of 10,000 employees from his company of 120,000 workers. Executives from Pratt and Whitney, EADS North America and Williams-Pyro also sounded the alarm about the $110 billion in cuts slated to hit defense and domestic programs on Jan. 2.

“From an industry perspective, because of the specter of sequestration, the near-term horizon is completely obscured by a fog of uncertainty,” Stevens said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

Republicans and Democrats are trying to undo the cuts they voted for last summer when they agreed to a deficit-cutting budget, but partisan divisions stand as a major obstacle to any solution. Democrats argue that any alternative must include tax hikes on high wage earners. Republicans are resisting any tax increases as the economy slowly recovers.

Politically, Republicans are trying to use the issue against President Barack Obama, contending that the commander in chief is willing to undermine the nation’s military with deep defense cuts. In fact, Republicans and Democrats backed the legislation that called for $487 billion in defense cuts over 10 years, plus the automatic cuts of about $492 billion in projected spending if a congressional bipartisan committee failed to come up with $1.2 trillion in savings. The panel was unsuccessful.

Some Republicans, including Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., have said they regret the vote.

The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for legislation requiring the Obama administration to spell out how it would implement the cuts in a report to Congress. The vote was 414-2.

In another political wrinkle, the officials from some of the defense firms said they would send out notices warning of possible layoffs 60 days before the cuts – which would fall just days before the November elections.

“Some may consider it flattering to believe that our industry is so robust and so durable that it could absorb the impact of sequestration without breaking stride,” Stevens said. “But that is a fiction. The impact on industry would be devastating, with a significant disruption to ongoing programs and initiatives.”

Despite the gloom, a report this past spring from Price Waterhouse Coopers found that the top 100 aerospace and defense companies reported $677 billion in revenue and $60 billion in operating profits, a record-setting year.

“Revenue was higher by 5 percent compared with 2010, while operating profit was up 2 percent over 2010,” the report said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 
 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ...
 

 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 
 

General Dynamics to continue work on U.S. Air Force GPS III program

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, has been awarded a $25.4 million full-production contract from Lockheed Martin to support the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) III Network Communications Element for space vehicles seven and eight. The Air Force’s next-generation GPS III satellites will improve position, navigation and timing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>