Briefly: State helicopter and defense factories to see lull

Thousands of Connecticut jobs are at stake following Monday’s release of the Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal year 2011. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates canceled several procurement programs, including the F-22 Raptor, whose engines are produced by Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut. Other cuts to programs, including various Missile Defense programs, drew the ire of Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67. Despite these cuts, Gates increased funding to certain programs, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Predator unmanned aircraft. Gates also called for the strengthening of the Army’s helicopter units — however, it is too soon to determine whether that will impact Blackhawk-building Sikorsky.

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