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Lockheed Martin chief warns against budget sequestration

Lockheed Martin president and chief executive Bob Stevens spoke out strongly against the $500 million sequestration of the US defense budget, which will take place in January 2013 if the law does not change.

"We have been responding to this challenge by reducing our overheads, by cutting capital expenses, curtailing research and development and engaging in very, very painful but necessary reductions in force across our company," says Stevens, at the press event.

Lockheed has closed 1.5 million square feet of its facilities, says Stevens, and plans to close an additional 2.9 million square feet by the end of 2014. The company's workforce is 18% smaller than it was three years ago and pace of hiring has slowed dramatically.

"The single biggest challenge faced by our company, and by our industry, to which we have no response, is sequestration," says Stevens.

"There is no strategy, or force reduction, or concept of operations for our nation that is supported by these reductions," he adds.

Stevens further notes that suppliers, of which Lockheed boasts 40,000, may become financially unstable. Plans regarding where the budget would be cut have not been publically released.

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