Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems, the region’s largest private employer, laid off an undisclosed number of salaried employees Thursday.

The company, which reported 10,300 full-time-equivalent local employees at the start of 2013, would not comment on specifics of the layoffs but confirmed the cuts in a prepared statement.

“To continue meeting current and future business requirements, and to achieve the right mix of talent to remain competitive in the marketplace, Raytheon Missile Systems is reducing staffing levels,” company spokesman John Patterson said in an email.

“A small number of salaried employees are part of a reduction in force effective today,” he wrote Thursday. “Affected salaried employees will be offered severance benefits and outplacement assistance to ease the transition.”

Several major defense contractors have been cutting their workforces amid Pentagon budget-cutting and the potential for deep defense cuts under the federal sequestration process.

Lockheed Martin announced Wednesday it would lay off 600 workers in its mission systems and training division nationwide, following earlier layoffs in that division.

Raytheon last had local layoffs in 2010, when the company laid off about 225 salaried workers, mainly engineers, citing in part the cancellation of three developmental weapons programs. Those cuts were the first mass layoffs since 2002, when the company axed 400 engineers in response to Pentagon program cuts.

Defense analysts have said Raytheon stands to fare better than some of its peers amid Pentagon budget cuts, because of the breadth of its electronics and missile businesses and the strength of its international business.

Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at dwichner@azstarnet.com or 573-4181.