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Northrop Grumman closing Melville facility

The USS New York

The USS New York Credit: Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding

Northrop Grumman Corp. plans to close its Melville engineering and manufacturing facility and lay off “an as yet undetermined number” of workers, the defense contractor said in a statement issued after employees received a memo Thursday  with the announcement.

The facility, which has about 100 employees, will cease operations because of the “low rate” of radar production, the company said. The site, part of the company’s Electronic Systems division, designs and produces naval radars and surveillance-tracking products.

The engineering and office activities will relocate to Bethpage. The manufacturing operations, where most of the layoffs will take place, will shift to Baltimore.

“We anticipate that most of the current program-office positions, the majority of engineering positions, and some manufacturing-support and administrative positions at Melville will move with the business to Bethpage,” the unsigned memo said. “Melville manufacturing-related positions will not move with the work to Baltimore.”

The layoffs are scheduled to begin in September and end in mid-2012. Laid-off employees will receive severance and outplacement services to help them look for another job. Or they can apply for other jobs with the company.

The defense contractor said it would provide more details to employees in coming weeks. Northrop Grumman, which has about 1,650 employees on Long Island, plans to leave the Melville location by the fall of next year.

“This decision provides the best opportunity for the company to achieve the cost efficiencies necessary to remain competitive in the defense industry,” the company said.

The history of the Melville location reflects the numerous mergers in the defense industry over the years here. It was established by Dynell Electronics Corp. in 1960. In 1978, that business merged with Norden Systems, which eventually became part of Northrop Grumman.

Photo: The USS New York uses the Northrop Grumman radar system produced in Melville.

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