US defence contractor Lockheed Martin said it will reduce its workforce by 4,000 as it closes and consolidates many of its US facilities in line with a decline in government's defence spending.

The world's largest defence company will close its facilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona and Texas as well as four buildings on a California campus. These closures will result in the elimination of 2,000 jobs.

In addition, the company's ongoing operational efficiency initiatives will eliminate an additional 2,000 positions in its Information Systems & Global Solutions, Mission System and Training, and Space Systems segments by the end of 2014.

"Reducing our workforce of dedicated employees and closing facilities are among the most difficult decisions we make," Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin CEO, said in a statement.

"In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of our business and will position Lockheed Martin to better serve our customers."

The closures will reduce the Lockheed's operational footprint by about 2.5 million square feet of facility space and lower overhead costs. The company will assist affected employees to seek other jobs.

Lower Defence Spending

Following years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US government has significantly reduced its defence spending, especially at a time when its economy is facing hurdles on its recovery path after the global economic crisis.

Under the US government's planned automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, the Defense Department's budget over a decade will be reduced by about $500bn (£312bn, €371bn). In the ongoing fiscal year, the department faces budget cuts of about $52bn.

In line with the budget cuts, major US defence companies have been reducing their costs in order to maintain profitability, despite their heavy spending on lobbying against sequestration.

Since 2008, Lockheed Martin has cut its employee base to 116,000 from 146,000 and removed 1.5 million square feet of facility space, in order to reduce overhead costs and capital expenses.

In October, Britain's BAE Systems announced that it would close a Texas facility building combat vehicles, making more than 300 jobs redundant.