COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Boeing is cutting about 100 jobs in Colorado after losing a major contract, but the aerospace company said many of the employees could be offered jobs with a competitor that won the contract.

Executives told the employees this week that their jobs will be eliminated Jan. 31 after Boeing lost its contract to maintain software used by the Air Force Space Command to control the Global Positioning System satellite network to Lockheed Martin Corp.

Lockheed has a 30-year history in the GPS program, including contracts totaling $1.7 billion awarded in 2008 and in January to build the first four satellites in the next-generation GPS network. The satellites are used for navigation and timing signals for a variety of applications, including financial transactions.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette ( ), Boeing is telling employees they can apply for other openings in the company. Lockheed officials said the defense company plans to hire about 100 people, including "a large percentage" of people now working on the contract.

Lockheed won the six-year contract valued at $104 million earlier this month. Lockheed said much of the work on the new contract will be completed at Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases near Colorado Springs, but work also is planned at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.

Most of the work includes operations and maintenance of command and control systems, software, hardware and communications equipment, said Suzanne Smith, a Lockheed spokeswoman in Denver.

Boeing still has more than 2,000 employees statewide, working on contracts that include software and engineering for a system designed to intercept incoming warheads in space.

"We are disappointed to learn that our field-proven GPS Control Segment operations solution was not selected," Boeing spokeswoman Deborah Bosick said Thursday in a statement.

Boeing has held the GPS contract since 1996 and built a $5 million testing and development center to house the project. The company also upgraded software at the command's ground station in Colorado Springs.


Information from: The Gazette,