Lockheed seeks to lay off up to 1,000 aeronautics workers

Lockheed Martin Corp. says its aeronautics division is seeking to part with up to 1,000 workers as it works to stay competitive and keep its staff aligned with orders.

The company is offering the voluntary program to mid-level employees in seven locations, including two in California: Edwards Air Force Base and Palmdale. The others are Fort Worth, Texas; Marietta, Ga.; Meridian, Miss.; Clarksburg, W.Va.; and Patuxent River, Md.

A company spokesman said the layoff follows an analysis of the division’s competitiveness and is “not related to a specific program.”

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, based in Fort Worth, makes fighter jets including the F-35 and the F-22.

Last month, a federal agency rejected a protest by Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co., choosing to uphold the Air Force's decision to award a new bomber contract to Northrop Grumman Corp.

The Government Accountability Office said at the time that the Air Force's review of bids was reasonable and that it saw no reason to reject the deal.

The total cost of the contract was classified. The GAO said there were two parts: an engineering phase with an estimated value of $21.4 billion in 2010 dollars, and options to build the first 21 bombers.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin employs roughly 126,000 workers globally.

Its stock rose more than 2% in after-hours trading Tuesday.

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UPDATE

7:35 p.m.: This article was updated to include a statement from a company spokesman.

The article originally posted at 5:02 p.m.

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