- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - Lockheed Martin is eliminating about 500 jobs from its Information Systems & Global Solutions segment, as the defense contractor adjusts to changing government priorities and tries to sharpen its competitiveness.

The aerospace and defense company employs about 112,000 people globally, so the cuts amount to less than 1 percent of its total workforce.

The Bethesda, Maryland, company said Wednesday the reductions will include voluntary and involuntary layoffs and will be completed by mid-November.

The contractor is making the cuts “to remain competitive in an extremely challenging environment where industry dynamics have shifted, customer budgets are constrained and competition has continued to escalate,” executive Sondra Barbour said in a statement from the company.

Lockheed Martin had said in July that it was reviewing options for its government information technology and technical services business, mainly in Information Systems & Global Solutions. The company said Wednesday that the layoffs weren’t tied to that review but were part of a bigger effort to align the segment with customer needs.

The layoff announcement comes more than a month after Lockheed Martin Corp. announced plans to spend $9 billion on Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft, as it seeks greater access to the military and commercial helicopter market.

Company executives have said a key part of the strategic plan for Lockheed Martin, which brought in more than $45 billion in sales last year, is to build its core defense business.

Shares of Lockheed Martin rose 49 cents to $207.50 in morning trading Wednesday, while broader indexes rose slightly. The stock had climbed more than 7 percent so far this year, as of Tuesday’s market close.

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