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Northrop Grumman plans cuts of up to 350 jobs

Unemployment and LayoffsDefenseManufacturing and EngineeringAerospace Manufacturing

Northrop Grumman will cut up to 350 jobs from its electronics systems sector, with most of the reductions likely in the Baltimore area, the defense giant said Tuesday.

The company said it will offer buyouts first and turn to layoffs early next year if it doesn't get enough volunteers.

The cuts are the latest round for Northrop Grumman, which said it needs to manage costs to "remain competitive in the defense marketplace." Defense contractors are trying to respond to an unknown level of budget cuts — either sharp, automatic reductions starting Jan. 2 or some other plan, if Congress can negotiate a compromise on deficit reduction.

Jack Martin Jr., a Northrop Grumman spokesman, said the company won't know the size of local job cuts until after workers decide whether to take the voluntary separation offer. A large number of the electronics systems sector's U.S. employees work at suburban Baltimore locations, particularly its Linthicum headquarters, so the company expects that most of the cuts will take place in the area, Martin said.

Northrop Grumman eliminated 700 jobs in the sector last December and January through buyouts and layoffs, he said. The Baltimore area lost 290 — 200 buyouts and 90 layoffs.

The new cutbacks will primarily affect managers and directors, with other trims targeting administrative-support jobs.

The electronics systems sector, which makes equipment such as airborne radar and navigation systems, employs 7,350 people in the Baltimore area and about 18,000 worldwide.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jsmithhopkins

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