MARIETTA, Ga. -- Lockheed Martin has announced that they will cut about 550 jobs at the Marietta plant as production of it's primary aircraft line, the C-130J, winds down.
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Peter Simmons, spokesperson for C-130J Aeronautics released this statement on behalf of the company on Wednesday afternoon:
"Over the past three years, we ramped up the C-130J production rate to a peak of 36 aircraft per year in 2011 to meet the demands of the U.S. Government's fleet recapitalization plans as well as the delivery needs of several other nations. With that ramp-up behind us and to meet current market demands, we reduced production to 32 aircraft this year, going down to 24 C-130s per year starting in 2013. Demand for the C-130J Super Hercules around the world remains high, but we must match our domestic and international customers' contractual schedules."
"While lowering the rate helps us preserve longevity and stability of the production line, it also has meant a reduction in the Marietta work force. We estimate a reduction of around 550 people as a result of the reduced C-130J production, some of which has already occurred. While normal attrition (retirements, separations, reduced hiring) accounts for some of the reduction, we, unfortunately, will likely have to involuntarily lay off some employees. We will strive to keep that number as small as possible."
The announcement comes after months of speculation and numerous cuts over the last couple of years.