Contractors Report Little Damage from Sequestration; NASA’s timetable threatened by it

Contractors Report Little Damage from Sequestraton; NASA’s timetable threatened by it Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:18 AMWith sequestration looming over their heads, big defense contractors were afraid that it would cause massive layoffs and unfortunate facility closures. However, The Washington Post reports that almost two months into the sequestration many companies have seen only a slight drop in revenue. Northrop Grumman reported that their profit and sales were essentially flat. The company reported profit of $489 million, down just over 3 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales hit $6.1 billion, down slightly from the first three months of 2012. The firm may not have been impacted much, but as The Washington Post reports, the actual effects of sequestration may not start effecting firms until the 2014 fiscal year.

Lockheed Martin also reported that there was not much of a change in their 2013 sales, but that the full effects would worsen over time. The Falls Church-based firm General Dynamics is already taking steps to protect its own funding. They cite that troubled programs and developmental programs are hardest hit by the sequestration. The firm is optimistic about being ready for when the full effects of sequestration hit. While it is good news that many big contractors are not seeing any devastating effects, it may be years still before the full hurt of sequestration is felt.

NASA is already predicting problems with their agenda of missions for 2013 and beyond because of sequestration. A mission to corral and land on an asteroid as well as a crewed mission to Mars during the 2030s are just two of the missions that NASA says could be pushed back significantly. If the sequestration remains in effect  through the 2014 fiscal year, William Gerstenmaier (NASA’s chief of human exploration) stated that it would be “really tough for us going forward.” The agency proposed a $17.7 billion budget earlier this month for the 2014 fiscal year that would fund an asteroid mission, the Space Launch System and Orion vehicle for a Mars trip and other high-profile programs. Their 2014 budget is hedging bets on the fact that Congress will find a way around the current sequestration.

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Sources:

Major contractors report little damage from sequestration, The Washington Post4

NASA: Sequestration threatens timetable for projects, USA Today