NEW YORK — Lockheed Martin said Thursday that it is cutting 4,000 jobs due to a slowdown in business due to less U.S. government spending on defense.
The defense contractor also said it was closing and consolidating several of its U.S. facilities in an effort to increase the efficiency of its operations and make its products more affordable.
"In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of out business," CEO Marillyn Hewson said in a statement.
Defense contractors have been hurt by across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration.
By mid-2015, Lockheed plans to close plants in Newtown, Pa.; Akron, Ohio; and Goodyear, Ariz. Those closings will result in 2,000 job losses. The other 2,000 positions being eliminated will be focused in the company's Information Systems & Global Solutions, Mission System and Training, and Space Systems businesses.
This is not the first wave of job cuts for Lockheed. Since 2008, in an effort to better align costs with revenue, the company has slashed its workforce by 30,000, from 146,000 employees to 116,000. The latest plant closing will bring the number of square feet taken out of production to 2.5 million since 2008, the company said.
As part of the consolidation, some Lockheed employees will be moved to other company locations.
Lockheed Martin had net sales of $47.2 billion in 2012. It stock is up nearly 50 percent this year.
Shares of Lockheed Martin were up 0.4 percent to $137.84 in morning trading.
Adam Shell writes for USA Today.