BAE Systems to Cut Almost 2000 Jobs in Britain

BAE Systems to Cut Almost 2000 Jobs in Britain

Defense contractor BAE Systems has just dealt a major blow to the United Kingdom manufacturing sector, following today's announcement that it will be cutting almost 2,000 jobs.

Up to 1,400 jobs will go at its military air and information business as it reduces its Typhoon and Hawk production rates as a result of a gap in orders.

He added: "Separately, we are also announcing actions at some of our United Kingdom sites to align our workforce capacity more closely with near-term demand and enhance our competitive position to secure new business".

BAE will also let go some people at its cyber intelligence business in London and Guildford.

FTSE 100-listed company BAE, which manufactures Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and Britain's nuclear submarines, said there will be a further 375 jobs cut in maritime services and 150 at its applied intelligence business.

The defence contractor will make the majority of the cuts at the Warton factory in Preston, Lancashire and announce further cuts at several other locations later this week.

BAE Systems, which employs 34,600 people in Britain, has already slowed Typhoon production as orders have dried up.

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The changes will "drive competitiveness. accelerate technology innovation. and deliver continued improvements in efficiency and operational excellence", the company said.

BAE - which is worth nearly £20bn - did agree a deal with Qatar for 24 Typhoons last month, and a potentially lucrative contract from Saudi Arabia is still under negotiation, but it had hoped for more interest.

BAE said in a statement: "Discussions with current and prospective customers continue to support our expectations for additional Typhoon and Hawk orders, including the recently announced Statement of Intent by Qatar to purchase 24 Typhoon aircraft".

UK-based defence analyst Francis Tusa said BAE was facing a double squeeze from confirmed orders for Typhoons drying up and Cold War Tornado jets, for which BAE has lucrative support contracts, nearing retirement.

"Our [Ministry of Defence] spent £3.7 billion [Dh17.8 bn] with BAE a year ago, and we also continually bang the drum for our world-leading defence industry right across the globe, supporting companies like BAE in securing contracts for UK-made equipment".

The union Unite today called on the government to focus its defence spending on defence equipment designed and built in Britain.

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