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General Dynamics to consolidate armament business

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) -- General Dynamics Corp. said Monday that it merge its armament and technical-products business into its ordnance and tactical-systems business, saying that the move will boost both efficiency and profitability.

The consolidation, which will result in the shuttering of the company's armament and technical-products headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., by the end of this year, comes after a review of the Falls Church, Va.-based defense contractor's combat-systems business group.

The armament and technical-products business designs, develops and produces weapon, armament and vehicle-survivability systems for the U.S. military and its allies, along with composite structures for the commercial, aerospace and defense markets.

It also makes a wide range of components for commercial trucks, military vehicles and industrial machines. The General Dynamics unit employs about 2,500 workers at facilities in 10 states and several non-U.S. locations.

Mark Roualet, executive vice president of the combat-systems group, said the consolidation move is in response to changing demand and increasing competition.

General Dynamics spokesman Rob Doolittle said the company still needs to determine how many people will be needed for the combined business. About 90 people work at the Charlotte headquarters and some job cuts are expected, but the exact number has yet to be determined, he said.

Michael Wilson, president for ordnance and tactical systems, will lead the combined businesses, which will be based in St. Petersburg, Fla., the company said.

Shares of General Dynamics rose 94 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $83.54 in afternoon trading.