By: Bill Cummings

CT Post

HARTFORD — Connecticut’s defense industry could lose more than $906 million  in federal spending this year because of budget cuts forced by sequestration, a  state review predicts.

The state Office  of Fiscal Analysis on Tuesday said the state should expect to lose about  $906.5 million in defense spending from its 2013 defense outlay of $11.7  billion, or a 7.7 percent reduction.09021-N-3610L-243

The number is lower than some earlier estimates, which placed the hit as high  as $2.2 billion. Still, layoffs and furloughs in Connecticut’s $25 billion  defense industry are expected.

OFA also estimated the reduction in federal aid to the state will be $52.6  million, down from a previous estimate of $58 million.

In a story published by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Sunday, a spokesman  for the Kaman Corp., an aerospace contractor based in Bloomfield, said the  company is expecting a $25 million cut in its defense allocation.

Other defense contractors — Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Electric Boat in  Groton and Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford — also said they were bracing for  cutbacks.

The White House has said at least 3,000 Connecticut civilian defense workers  could be furloughed as the Department  of Defense cuts $46 billion this year because of the ongoing budget  stalemate in Washington.

A study by George  Mason University predicted more than 36,000 job losses in Connecticut’s  defense industry, creating a $4.2 billion drop in gross state product. The Center  for Security Policy placed state defense cuts at $2.2 billion this year.

“Even if the defense cuts are half that it would be really bad,” said Pete  Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.  “You would get four-figure job losses.”

“Layoffs and furloughs are considerations. In addition, we would likely  reduce overtime and planned hiring. We cannot quantify these actions at this  point, but they could be significant,” said Kaman spokesman Eric  Remington.

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