Whittaker Corp. plans to divest all or part of its defense electronics unit in the coming months and said it retained an investment advisor to assist in exploring strategic options to cut debt. The Simi Valley-based company said its debt is currently $146 million. Whittaker had a loss of $17.1 million, or $1.70 a share, on sales of $221.9 million for the year ended Oct. 31. Whittaker is cutting costs in all its businesses and monetizing assets, including certain real estate holdings, to pay down its debt by as much as $50 million this fiscal year. In addition to the sale of its electronics unit, the company is considering the spinoff, merger or sale of its communications division and its Xyplex Networks unit. Whittaker develops fluid-control and fire-safety systems for aerospace and industrial applications. Its shares lost 25 cents to close at $10 on the New York Stock Exchange.