The Boeing Co. (BA:NYSE) plans to cut approximately 800 positions in Wichita next year, reducing the Integrated Defense Systems work force there by 27 percent.

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Boeing plans to cut approximately 800 positions at its operations in Wichita next year, reducing the Integrated Defense Systems work force there by 27 percent.

The layoffs, affecting salaried and hourly workers as well as managers, will begin with about 76 employees who will receive 60-day layoff notices this Friday, the company said today. Boeing said most of the other affected workers will be informed during the first half of 2009.

The company attributed the cuts to the end of some defense programs and the delay in the U.S. Air Force tanker-replacement program. Boeing Wichita’s IDS facility works on a range of programs, including Global Transport & Executive Systems programs for the U.S. executive fleet, B-52/Refueling Systems Support, 767 International Tanker, Mission Planning, engineering support for Airborne Laser and 747-8, and Integrated Logistics Support.

“A combination of events are limiting our business options and forcing us to reduce our current employee total. We also are taking steps to restructure our business in order to lower our rates and become more affordable for customers,” said Scott Strode, vice president and general manager of Boeing Wichita.

“Our goal is to place more work in Wichita, but while we seek new business, it is vital for the future health of Boeing Wichita that we address our current business realities.”