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EADS to Cut 600 Jobs in Cassidian Defense Unit Overhaul

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. plans to cut 600 jobs at its Cassidian defense unit in an overhaul aimed at saving 400 million euros ($564 million) over three to four years as national defense budgets shrink.

“With the changing world, the growing need for security, especially in emerging markets, and the reduction of defense budgets in home markets, we’ve decided to adapt our structure accordingly,” said spokeswoman Annette Scheck by telephone, confirming a report in German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung that cited Cassidian Chief Executive Officer Stefan Zoller.

Cassidian plans to dissolve individual business units and merge all activities, and named Bernhard Gerwert chief operating officer to manage all operations, said Scheck. Cyber security is an area Cassidian intends to strengthen, she said.

Budgetary pressures throughout Europe have led governments in countries including Germany and the U.K. to slash spending. The German government last year ordered cumulative savings of 8.3 billion euros in the defense budget by 2014.

Cassidian anticipates rising demand for safety equipment for police and border patrol, and estimates that about half of all its sales will soon come from that arena. Revenue overall will double to about 12 billion euros in 10 years, Scheck also confirmed Zoller as saying.

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