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Lockheed Martin adds jobs, increases supplier payments to counter coronavirus impact

(Reuters) – Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N> said on Friday it hired about 1,000 employees in the last two weeks and increased payments to suppliers to counter the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which last week pledged to advance more than $50 million to defense suppliers, said it was increasing its payment by $53 million to a total of $106 million.

Reuters reported last month the Pentagon was increasing the amount of interim payments it makes to defense contractors in an effort to give them a financial boost.

“As we all deal with the challenges of the health crisis, we will continue to perform and deliver critical products and capabilities for the United States and our allies, support job creation and help those in need wherever we operate,” Lockheed said.

Lockheed said it also planned to donate $2 million to support first responders and health care workers who require personal protective equipment items.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)