Lockheed to realign unit; jobs may be cut

By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin said Monday that it is revamping its missile-making Electronic Systems unit and appointing a new person to head it -- moves that could result in an undisclosed number of job losses after the giant defense contractor lost two lucrative deals at its facility in Owego, N.Y.

Lockheed said it will also realign the division, which makes the Aegis ballistic missile and the Pac-3 surface-to-air guided missile, to improve operations and affordability. The company's ground-vehicle business will no longer report to Owego, where it was part of Systems Integration, but to Dallas, where it will be part of Missiles and Fire Control. The rest of Owego's business will become part of the company's Maritime Systems and Sensors division, which makes ships and radars.

Lockheed cut nearly 1,000 jobs this year at its Owego operations after the Pentagon canceled several weapons systems, including the presidential helicopter program and a search-and-rescue helicopter, which were run out of Owego.

Lockheed, along with other defense contractors, is trying to better deliver weapons systems on time and on budget as the Pentagon has cut back on big-ticket programs.

"I believe this structure will make us stronger and more cost competitive," said Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed's chairman, president and chief executive. "I regret that the business realignment will displace some of our colleagues, but failure to act decisively in a business environment dominated by economic pressures, limited customer resources and intensified competition would result in even greater job losses over time."

The company also said that Marillyn Hewson, president of Systems Integration-Owego, will become executive vice president of Electronic Systems effective Jan. 1, replacing Christopher Kubasik. Kubasik was promoted last month to president and chief operating officer of the company.

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