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Boeing shakes up shrinking defense business

Updated: January 15, 2013 9:10PM

Boeing Co. looks to cut $1.6 billion in costs from its defense business between 2013 and 2015 on top of $2.2 billion in cuts it began in 2010 that have included reductions in executive positions, the Chicago-based aerospace giant revealed Wednesday.

By the end of this year, Boeing said it expects to have 30 percent fewer executive positions in the business than in 2010, but it would not reveal specific job cut numbers.

Boeing makes military helicopters and planes, in addition to commercial jets. The commercial airplane business has been expanding, but defense is suffering because of tight government spending in the U.S. and other countries.

Boeing, which has defense operations in California, said it’s reducing by more than 10 percent its facilities space, including already having vacated a building in Huntington Beach, Calif.

“In southern California, in Seal Beach, we have several buildings there. We’ll vacate two and try to sell them,” said spokesman Todd Blecher. “It’s things like that,” as opposed to any planned plant closings, he noted.

“By the end of 2015, we would like to have a cost structure that looks about $4 billion less than in 2010,” he said. “We need to remain competitive and affordable in a defense budget environment that ... certainly is flat to declining.”

Contributing: AP

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