ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Boeing says this is part of preparing for inevitable defense cuts over the next few years. But deep cuts could come even faster if congress and the president can't cut a deal by January 1st.
Defense spending is worth billions to the St. Louis region's economy, both from Boeing and from the dozens of smaller companies that supply it.
But as the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan shrinks and the federal budget gets tighter, cuts are inevitable.
That means fewer personnel, and less equipment, ranging from bullets to bombers. So Boeing is cutting 10 percent of its defense management and cutting defense-related spending by over a billion and a half dollars over the next year. Jobs will be lost here. How many? We don't know yet.
There are two bright spots. One is the F-18 Hornet Fighter. It's being sold to other countries. And it’s also the go-to stand-by for the U.S. Navy.
The second is, the Drone. Unmanned aircraft used either for surveillance or combat, Drone use and production for the military and CIA is expected to be brisk for the next decade at least.
But deep automatic defense cuts will hit January 1st unless congress and the president can compromise over what's either called sequestration or the fiscal cliff.
Otherwise, defense cuts here may hit hard and fast come New Year's Day.
Boeing, meanwhile says these cuts would have been made no matter who won the presidential election.