Lockheed Martin to Close Minnesota P-3 Plane Facility, Cutting 400 Jobs

Lockheed Martin Corp. will close its plant that makes components for the P-3 surveillance plane in Eagan, Minnesota, by 2013 and move work from its Middle River, Maryland, site next year, resulting in at least 400 job cuts.

Lockheed’s Mission Systems and Sensors unit will shift 650 jobs from Eagan to Owego, New York, San Diego and Manassas, Virginia, according to a statement today. The company will also transfer work on ground vehicles from Owego to Dallas.

“The net result would be about 400 jobs eliminated,” Anne Marie Squeo, a spokeswoman for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, said in a phone interview. The number of job cuts may be higher if employees whose jobs are being transferred choose not to go, she said.

Closing the plants will save the company $150 million over the next 10 years, Orlando Carvalho, president of Lockheed’s Mission Systems and Sensors unit, said in the statement. In September, Lockheed said 25 percent of its executives, or more than 600 vice presidents and directors, accepted a voluntary retirement program designed to reduce costs.

The Minnesota plant makes avionics components for P-3 maritime surveillance planes, Squeo said. The Maryland site makes missile launching systems for U.S. Navy ships, according to the company’s website. The layoffs will start in the first quarter of 2011 and continue for two years, according to the statement.

Lockheed rose 17 cents to $68.72 at 12:22 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had declined 9 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

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