Sikorsky closing New York Black Hawk plant

Sept 24 Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:50pm EDT

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said on Monday it is closing its Elmira, New York, aircraft facility, where 575 workers have been adding special mission equipment to Black Hawk and Sea Hawk helicopters.

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson said the company began telling employees about the plant closing on Monday. He said the work would be shifted to another large Sikorsky plant in West Palm Beach, Florida, but that no jobs will move.

The decision to close the facility, which is operated by the company's Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary, came in response to the Pentagon's plans to cut $487 billion from its projected spending levels over the next decade.

Defense companies like Sikorsky are still battling to stave off an additional $500 billion in defense spending cuts that are due to take effect in January, unless U.S. lawmakers reach an eleventh-hour compromise to avert the reductions.

Sikorsky plans to issue notices to employees in coming days warning them about further job cuts that could be linked to the additional budget reductions, said one source familiar with the company's plans.

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