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Northrop to eliminate 800 jobs, mostly in Maryland

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Thursday it will eliminate 800 jobs from its Linthicum-based Electronics Systems sector, with the majority of the job losses occurring in Maryland.

The Electronics Systems division has 7,625 employees in Maryland in facilities at Linthicum, Sykesville, Elkridge and Annapolis. Nationwide, the division has 17,000 employees.

Employees were informed of the plans Wednesday, according to a statement from company spokesman Jack Martin Jr.

While Northrop Grumman hopes most of the cuts will come from voluntary buyouts, Martin said the company would reach the desired number of job cuts with layoffs if necessary.

“Should these voluntary efforts not fully address the staffing situation, we will initiate an involuntary reduction to ensure our headcount is consistent with our current and anticipated business base,” Martin said in the statement. “We expect the involuntary reduction to be completed by the end of January 2012.”

The Electronics Systems division produces items such as airborne radar, navigation, electronic countermeasures and precision weapons. Other products include sensors for jet fighters, systems for digital electronic warfare, missile defense systems and automated postal sorting equipment.

The company said the cuts were being made to reflect the economic outlook for the division, including anticipated defense spending cuts.

“It is imperative that we realign staffing levels to better meet the requirements of our customers in what we anticipate will be an increasingly competitive and challenging business environment going forward,” Martin said.

Northrop Grumman said it planned to offer separation benefits and outplacement assistance to those affected.