EVENDALE, Ohio (AP) _ General Electric Co.'s jet engine division more than doubled the previous number of projected job cuts Friday, saying it will eliminate 4,000 additional positions by early next year.

The airline industry's slump and defense budget cuts forced the new cutbacks, which will mostly affect salaried workers, GE Aircraft Engines said.

In two previous announcements this year, GE said it would eliminate a total of 3,900 jobs in the division. All told, the cuts would reduce employment by 25 percent to 22,000 jobs.

The cuts have been felt throughout GE's aircraft engine division, which has a dozen plants across the country. At least half of the newest reductions will be done at the headquarters plant in this Cincinnati suburb, with the rest spread worldwide.

Robert Risch, a GE spokesman, said the exact impact on the engine plant in Lynn, Mass., hasn't been determined, but the plant stands to lose 400 to 700 jobs.

''I didn't expect that many layoffs. It's getting scary now,'' said Paul Nardone, 45, of Lynn, who has worked at GE for more than two decades.

GE Aircraft Engine President Brian Rowe said in a letter Friday to GE employees that customers have lost nearly $20 billion in the past three years.

''In this environment, both our commercial and military customers are demanding that we deliver products that cost less to own and operate,'' Rowe said.

The defense industry continues to pare down, and the airline industry ''is just not bouncing back like we hoped,'' Risch said.

Airlines worldwide have been canceling or delaying orders for new jets in the past year and few new orders have been placed. New airlines have been taking to the skies recently, but they have depended on cheap used jets.

Analysts at Salomon Brothers Inc. estimate the U.S. airline fleet will shrink to 3,380 jets this year and increase by less than 130 over the next four years.

Continental Airlines announced earlier in the week it would retire 30 older jets as it drops nine destinations and cuts 2,500 jobs.

Cuts previously announced at the Evendale plant will reduce its work force to about 11,000 by the end of 1994, down from a peak of about 20,000 in 1987 during defense buildup of the 1980s. The new cutbacks will reduce Evendale's employment to about 9,000.

The Lynn plant has about 6,200 employees but it employed more than twice that number in the mid-1980s. About 3,500 workers at the plant are union members. Most of the others are engineers and mid-level managers.