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Cobham will add 60 jobs at its Orchard Park facility in a consolidation that follows the decision by the international defense and aerospace contractor to close a manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The British company plans to transfer 60 jobs to Cobham Life Support in Orchard Park, which now employs 280 workers, and another 60 jobs to a plant in Davenport, Iowa, by the end of this year, said Jan Robazza, a spokeswoman for the company, which also is known locally as Carleton Technologies.

The workers in St. Petersburg will be given the chance to transfer to New York or Iowa, but Cobham Orchard Park may end up hiring locally to fill some of the positions if not enough workers accept a transfer here.

Cobham officials said they are closing the St. Petersburg plant, which produces components for life-safety systems, in response to cutbacks in defense spending.

Just 120 of the Florida plant’s 160 jobs will be relocated to the Orchard Park and Davenport facilities.

The Orchard Park plant designs and manufactures life-support systems used for space, military and commercial applications.

These products range from the oxygen pressure-regulator used by Mercury astronaut John Glenn to life-support components in the space shuttle program, the International Space Station and the pressure suit worn by Felix Baumgartner last fall when he made his historic sky dive from more than 24 miles above Earth.

Cobham has 10,000 employees worldwide and about 5,000 in the United States, Robazza said.

Managers at Cobham Orchard Park also oversee 38 employees who work at a satellite Cobham facility in Maryland.

email: swatson@buffnews.com