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Presidential election will not stave-off declines in U.S. defense spending, executives say at Farnborough

THE FARNBOROUGH BLOG, 12 July 2012. Think the upcoming U.S. presidential election could reverse downward trends in military spending? Well guess again; it won't says Clay Jones, chairman and CEO of avionics and defense electronics designer Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Jones says he expects the U.S. defense budget to shrink in 2013 and 2014 no matter who wins the election, incumbent President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Jones made his comments in an interview this week at the Farnborough International Airshow published in the Aviation Week Show News daily news digest at Farnborough.

"As important as the election is, I'm not sure it's going to make a world of difference in defense spending," Jones said in a story published Wednesday in Aviation Week Show News. Rockwell Collins earns more than half its revenue from equipment sold to the military.

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"I think there could be more sympathy to retaining a higher level of defense should Romney be elected," Jones said." "But the situation with the [budget] deficit is unchanged."

Jones predicts the U.S. defense budget will decline in federal fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and level off in 2015.

U.S. defense contractors are expected to continue making profits from sales to the Pentagon over the next several years, but also are expected to push for growth in military hardware and software outside the U.S. in an effort to maintain revenue levels.

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