Kelley Chinn/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Bell Helicopter won the contract to build the next-generation armed reconnaissance helicopter in July 2005. But almost from the start, it struggled to meet performance and cost goals.
Bell Helicopter said Wednesday it will layoff 500 workers after losing a defense contract.
The Fort Worth-based company said the cuts represent a four percent reduction of the work force and a 20 percent reduction in management.
The decision came after the Department of Defense terminated a helicopter development contract earlier this month.
"With the loss of the ARH-70A program, we must make changes in our staffing and structure to reduce costs and ensure that our products remain competitive. Staffing decisions are always difficult, especially in light of the global economic conditions. Our actions are intended to ensure that we retain the talent most needed for the projected business environment and treat every affected employee fairly and with respect and dignity," said Richard Millman, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter.
Workers being laid off will receive 60 days pay and benefits. Additionally, Bell Helicopter has made arrangements to provide each employee with post-employment support through the services of an outplacement firm and the Texas Workforce Commission.