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Northrop cuts 74 jobs at unit based in Amherst

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Thursday it will cut 74 jobs at its Amherst Systems division, following a drop in its engineering business and delays in some programs.

The cuts, announced Wednesday to employees, include 54 positions in Amherst, representing 9 percent of the local work force of about 600. Another 20 will lose jobs in Bethpage, Long Island, where a small operation is being shut down. Remaining work in Bethpage will be moved to Amherst.

Jack Martin Jr., a spokesman for the Los Angeles-based defense contractor, said the cuts result largely from "a lack of new product design and development work in our engineering organization, coupled with delays associated with several existing and anticipated domestic and international programs."

Amherst Systems designs and makes electronic warfare simulation products, specializing in radio frequency and infrared threat simulation, according to the company. The operation is based on Wehrle Drive, near Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

"This work force reduction action is regrettable, but unavoidable," Martin said in an e-mailed statement. "It is imperative that the company properly adjusts the staffing levels to accommodate anticipated business needs going forward."

He would not be more specific in identifying the products or programs that have been delayed. But he stressed that "the long-term business outlook for our Amherst Systems unit remains promising as the company continues to be well-positioned in key growth markets."

Martin said the layoffs will be effective June 30, but the company will provide severance and other benefits, as well as outplacement assistance, to the affected workers, who will also be able to apply for jobs at other Northrop Grumman facilities.

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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