General Dynamics’ aerospace unit plans to lay off 1,200

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Falls Church defense contractor General Dynamics announced Thursday that its Gulfstream Aerospace subsidiary is reducing its outlook for 2009 amid a decline in backlog.

Gulfstream Aerospace has said it will cut its large-cabin aircraft production and green-aircraft deliveries to 73 in 2009, rather than the 94 originally expected. A weak backlog, especially in February, caused the business unit to reduce its anticipated deliveries for this year. It also will reduce its manufacturing of mid-size aircraft from 30 to 24 this year.

The company said the move is necessary to stabilize its backlog.

General Dynamics expects to lay off 1,200 workers, including 550 contractor personnel.

“Despite the current challenges, we continue to believe that Gulfstream’s backlog provides a solid foundation for the business in this tough market environment,” said Nicholas D. Chabraja, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics. “We regret the impact of these actions on our employees and their families, and are doing our best to minimize the number of workers affected.”

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