Lockheed to split electronic systems business in two

The largest U.S. weapons maker, Lockheed Martin Corp , said it plans to split its electronic systems business into two separate operations focused on missiles and training, a move it said would save $50 million and eliminate 200 jobs.

The change, effective December 31, will give Lockheed five business areas: aeronautics, space systems, information systems, missiles and fire control, and mission systems and training.

Marillyn Hewson, who currently heads the electronic systems business, is scheduled to take over as president and chief operating officer of Lockheed on January 1.

Chris Kubasik, who is set to succeed Bob Stevens as chief executive officer on January 1, said the restructuring would streamline Lockheed operations and strip out a layer of management at a time when the Pentagon is pushing contractors to lower overhead costs.

"This new structure will allow us to better support our customers around the world and positions our company for sustained long-term growth," Kubasik said in a statement.

Lockheed said the new missiles and fire-control business will be based in Dallas, with 16,000 employees working on programs such as Patriot PAC-3 missiles and missile defense.

It will be headed by long-time Lockheed executive Rick Edwards, who previously managed tactical missiles and combat maneuver systems for the company. The executive currently in charge of Lockheed's missiles business, Jim Berry, is retiring.

The mission systems and training business will be based in Washington with 19,000 employees working on the Aegis combat system, the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship, and as well as military and commercial training systems, the company said.

It will be headed by Dale Bennett, another Lockheed veteran, who took over as president of the company's mission systems and sensors business in August.

Lockheed shares were little changed at $94.25 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; editing by John Wallace)