Lockheed to lay off 600 workers in mission systems, training

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:55pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp, the largest U.S. defense contractor, on Wednesday announced plans to lay off 600 workers in its Mission Systems and Training Division, citing increasing challenges in the business environment

Lockheed spokesman Keith Little said the layoffs were not linked to the partial U.S. government shutdown.

The company said it would provide details by November 6 about which of its 100 locations around the country would be affected.

"This action is necessary to address continuing challenges in our business environment, including continued uncertain program funding, delays in contract awards and an extremely competitive market," Little said in a statement.

Lockheed has already cut its workforce by over 30,000 employees since 2008 and consolidated facilities as it braced for tighter military budgets. A company spokeswoman said the workforce now totaled 116,000.

Last week, Lockheed scaled back by 20 percent its plans to furlough 3,000 employees as a result of the partial government shutdown, after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalled most civilian defense employees.

Industry executives say ongoing uncertainty about future funding levels and a continuing impasse over mandatory cuts in defense spending are slowing government orders, which is beginning to reduce revenues and earnings across the sector.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Carol Bishopric and Leslie Adler)

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