United Technologies Corp. [UTX] said on Wednesday that that if the ongoing federal government shutdown continues the company will have to furlough thousands of its employees due to a lack of government contract officials that audit and approve manufacturing operations for military products.

Sikorsky’s Black Hawk Helicopter. Photo: UTC

UTC said that because the Defense Contract Management Agency inspectors were deemed non-essential federal employees, the company has to halt certain manufacturing work, which will lead to the furloughs. Next Monday UTC’s Sikorsky Aircraft division, which manufactures the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, is expected to furlough nearly 2,000 employees at its facilities in Alabama, Connecticut and Florida.

If the shutdown persists through next week, UTC said its Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems divisions are expected to furlough another 2,000 employees. UTC warned that if the shutdown continues into November that its employee furloughs could exceed 5,000.