Workers at Martin Marietta Corp.'s Middle River complex got some good news yesterday in the form of a new Navy contract, but the word on the West Coast was less welcome, as about 400 jobs in San Diego will be eliminated as the company consolidates its rocket production operations.
The company's Aero and Naval Systems division in Baltimore County was awarded a $41.25 million Navy contract to provide design and engineering services related to the production of a rocket-launching system used on ships.
Buzz Bartlett, a company spokesman, said the contract covers four years and the money is to be used on an as-needed basis when design changes or improvements are made in the launcher.
Maryland, like other states heavily dependent on defense contracts, has suffered as the Pentagon budget has been trimmed. Southern California's faltering defense economy took another hit yesterday when Martin Marietta said that it would eliminate 400 jobs at its space systems operations in San Diego as it consolidates its recently acquired Atlas rocket program there with its Titan missile center in Denver.
The company said the move will reduce costs by more than $500 million over the next 10 years and eliminate about a million square feet of office and manufacturing space in San Diego. The company said a second phase, combining launch operations at Vandenberg, Calif., and Cape Canaveral, Fla., will be announced next month.