BAE Systems confirms proposals to cut nearly 2,000 jobs in Britain across military, maritime and intelligence services

 
Rebecca Smith
BAE Systems has been slowing Typhoon production
BAE Systems has been slowing Typhoon production (Source: Getty)

BAE Systems has confirmed proposals for nearly 2,000 job cuts in the UK in today's trading update.

The aerospace and defence giant said to ensure production continuity at competitive costs, it is taking further action to trim Typhoon and Hawk aircraft production rates.

"As a result, the group has today announced a proposal to reduce the workforce of the military air and information business by up to 1,400 roles," the firm said.

It is also proposing 375 jobs cuts in its maritime service business and 150 in its applied intelligence business, taking the total number of possible cuts up to over 1,900.

Read more: BAE Systems plans as many as 2,000 job cuts in the UK

BAE said from 1 January next year, organisational changes across the firm will be rolled out to "drive competitiveness", including the shedding of management layers, and the creation of a new chief technology officer role.

The shake-up marks the first significant move by new chief executive Charles Woodburn to drive efficiencies, and will notably affect Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire, which manufacture the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

Woodburn said the actions were "necessary and the right thing to do for our company".

"I recognise this will be difficult news for some of our employees and we are committed to do everything we can to support those affected," he said.

BAE employs 34,600 people in the UK, accounting for nearly half of its 83,100 global workforce.

Proposed redundancies by location Approximate figures
Warton & Salmlesbury, Lancs 750
Brough, East Yorkshire 400
RAF Marham & RAF Leeming 245
Portsmouth & Solent 340
London, Guildford and other applied intelligence locations 150
Other UK locations 30
1915

Unite union said today that it vowed to fight the "devastatingly short-sighted cuts", estimating that by 2020, a quarter of the UK's defence spend will be benefitting American factories and firms such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The union's assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: "These planned job cuts will not only undermine Britain’s sovereign defence capability, but devastate communities across the UK who rely on these skilled jobs and the hope of a decent future they give to future generations.

Unite will not stand by and allow the defence of our nation to be outsourced abroad. These devastatingly short sighted cuts will harm communities, jobs and skills. Unite will fight for every job and support every community under threat in both BAE's aerospace and marine divisions.

Meanwhile, shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith MP, said: "This is truly appalling news for BAE’s workers and for communities across the UK. The jobs that BAE are cutting are highly-skilled and their loss will be felt in areas that have a strong tradition of defence manufacturing.

It is time for the government to address the clear uncertainty that is felt by the industry and come forward with an urgent plan to save these jobs.

She added: "This must include the possibility of bringing forward orders to provide additional work for BAE’s employees, such as replacing the Red Arrows’ fleet of Hawk aircraft that are approaching the end of their service life."

BAE also said today that trading for the period has been in line with management expectations, and the outlook for 2017 remains unchanged.

Shares in the firm were down 1.37 per cent at the time of writing.

Read more: Defence secretary Fallon warns Bombardier row could jeopardise Boeing deals

Proposed redundancies (approximated figures)

Warton & Samlesbury, Lancs

750

Brough, East Yorkshire

400

RAF Marham & RAF Leeming

245

Portsmouth & Solent

340

London, Guildford and other Applied Intelligence locations

150

Other UK locations

30

1915

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