Lockheed Martin Cutting 750 Jobs

OWEGO, New York (AP) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday that it plans to cut up to 750 jobs at its upstate New York plant because of the Pentagon's recent decision to cancel a Lockheed contract to make helicopters for the U.S. president.

The cuts would push the number of job reductions at Lockheed's systems integration plant in Owego to nearly 1,000 since the Pentagon announced budget changes in April that would affect some of the defense contractors large programs. About 4,000 people work at the facility.

Lockheed said it planned to try to achieve some of the job cuts by allowing workers to volunteer to leave. When that process is completed, the contractor will begin making layoffs around mid-July.

One of the Owego plant's biggest projects was a $13 billion contract to build a new fleet of Marine One helicopters that would have been used to carry the president and other top government officials.

The Navy formally terminated Lockheed's contract earlier this month after Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he planned to cancel it because of cost overruns and schedule delays.

Gates also halted a competition to build a new search-and-rescue helicopter for the Air Force, a program Lockheed was bidding for out of the Owego facility.

Lockheed is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

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