When Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced plans earlier this month to cut $78 billion in military spending on top of $100 billion in efficiency savings announced last summer, nervous government contractors took stock of their programs — and called their lawyers.
A sacred cow since Sept. 11, 2001, the Defense Department budget for the first time in a decade is feeling the pinch as the country grapples with a deficit of nearly $1.5 trillion. The Pentagon has already announced some cuts, like General Dynamics Corp.’s $14.4 billion contract to develop the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, and contractors are bracing for more to come.
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