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April 28, 2014

Pentagon cuts could impact Maine firms

Bath Iron Works and Pratt & Whitney, a North Berwick-based manufacturer, could stand to lose military contracts if Congress doesn't repeal $115 billion in automatic budget cuts.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Bath Iron Works, along with a Mississippi shipbuilder, is set to build three destroyers under the Department of Defense's proposed 2016-2019 budget. Under the same spending plan, Pratt & Whitney is set to build engines for Air Force fighter jets.

If the automatic cuts go through, as stipulated in the Budget Control Act, the two military contractors could lose their respective contracts — or at least have them delayed — though both companies declined to speculate about the exact impact.

In a report, the Pentagon said the cuts — which would also include a full fleet of Air Force tankers and Marine Corps ground forces — would result in lost jobs and significantly increase the country's "national security risks both in the short- and long-term."

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