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Cobham to close two Baltimore-area locations, lay off 138

A British defense contractor said Tuesday that it will close its locations in Baltimore and Hunt Valley this year and lay off nearly 140 employees in reaction to a tightening market for military purchases.

Cobham plc said it would discontinue the products it manufactures in Hunt Valley — equipment such as microwave receivers — and move its Baltimore operations to a bigger facility in Lansdale, Penn. All three locations are part of the company's defense electronics arm.

"It is with genuine disappointment that Cobham must take these actions due to the contraction of the US defense market for our products," the company said in its statement.

Cobham said it would lay off its 96 employees in Baltimore throughout the year and cut the 42 jobs in Hunt Valley by this summer. The company plans to move 70 of the jobs to the Pennsylvania facility — about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia — and is encouraging its Baltimore-area workers to apply.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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