Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. warned state regulators Friday that it will be laying off 224 employees across the country, including dozens based at Fort Meade, after losing a contract to provide security for a government agency.

But a spokesman for Northrop Grumman said the company expects the employees will continue to do the same work for the incoming contractor. The switchover is expected in April.

"The jobs aren't going away," said David Apt, the spokesman.

The contract is for providing access-control services to the National Security Agency in multiple states, ensuring that the people driving onto NSA property and going into its buildings are supposed to be there. More than 80 of the jobs are at Fort Meade, NSA's headquarters, Apt said.