Lockheed Martin is cutting about 550 jobs at its Marietta plant as it slows production of its primary aircraft line.
The move, announced Wednesday but already underway, is a blow to the sprawling Marietta plant and poses concerns about the future of the company's C-130 Hercules cargo plane. The program's production line in Marietta is the longest continuously operating military aircraft production line in history.
Lockheed spokesman Peter Simmons said the company cut staff because production of the latest version, the C-130J, has plunged by one third from 2011 to 2013. The company will use retirements and attrition to account for some of the job cuts, with the rest accomplished through layoffs.
"We will strive to keep that number as small as possible," Simmons said.
Lockheed has warned about 10,000 of its 120,000 employees worldwide could lose their jobs if $500 billion in defense cuts over the next decade go through, and it's threatened to send layoff warnings days before the November election.
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