Lockheed announces 740 job cuts to D.C.-based unit

Tuesday - 7/10/2012, 7:53pm EDT

Lockheed Martin, one of the world's largest defense contractors, has announced a 5 percent workforce reduction at its Mission Systems and Sensors (MS2) business area.

The company said it notified 308 of its U.S.-based employees Tuesday "that they will no longer have employment with the company," according to a release.

That, coupled with 432 employees who left in May as the result of a voluntary layoff program, brings the total number of job cuts to 740.

About 14,000 employees work in the MS2 unit, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

A Lockheed spokesman told Federal News Radio fewer than 75 employees in the D.C. metro area were affected by the reductions, either through the voluntary layoffs or the cuts.

"Given the budget pressures facing our customers, Lockheed Martin is examining every aspect of our business to ensure we are as efficient and cost effective as possible in meeting their needs," said MS2 President Dale Bennett. "Reducing our workforce is a difficult but necessary decision to position our business for future growth and ensure we remain competitive."

Last month, Robert Stevens, Lockheed's CEO, who's retiring at the end of the year, warned of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration set to take effect in January.

"The single greatest challenge faced by our company and our industry for which we have no good response is sequestration," Stevens said. "The near term horizon is completely obscured by a fog of uncertainty.

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