Lockheed to close facility, cut jobs


Lockheed Martin Corp, the world’s biggest defense contractor, said it would close a Minnesota facility by 2013 and transfer work at two other facilities, eliminating about 1,100 jobs as it looks to drive down costs.

But the company added that layoffs from the moves in its mission systems and sensors business would be partly offset by the transfer of about 650 jobs and said additional jobs would be created.

The company said its Eagan, Minn., plant will close by 2013, while manufacturing work will move from its Middle River, Maryland, location by the end of 2011. Those decisions will affect about 1,000 jobs in Minnesota and 60 in Maryland, Lockheed said.

The contractor also said the majority of its ground vehicle business, including the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program based in Owego, New York, will be transferred to a Dallas plant in 2011. That move will cut 40 jobs in Owego, Reuters reports.

The job losses will be partly offset by the transfer of about 650 positions from Eagan to three other locations, Lockheed’s statement added. It also said jobs would be created in Camden, Arkansas, when some Middle River manufacturing work moves there.

The company said the moves were expected to save US$150 million over the next 10 years. Layoffs and transfers are set to start in the 2011 first quarter and continue over the next two years.

Lockheed, based in Bethesda, Maryland, has made many moves to slash expenses as the US Department of Defense, its main customer, looks to eliminate program cost overruns.

Earlier this year, Lockheed said more than 600 executives opted to take voluntary buyouts in an initiative to pare overhead and streamline management. The company also put up two units for sale and made significant cuts in trade show participation and advertising.

Lockheed has 133,000 workers. Its shares were up 27 cents at $68.82 on Thursday.