More reports on: Defence production

BAE Systems to cut nearly 2,000 jobs in drive to streamline operations

10 October 2017

Aerospace workers across the North of England faced the prospect of losing their jobs as giant BAE Systems today confirmed it will cut nearly 2,000 roles.

As it looks to streamline its operations and focus more on technology, the defence giant is cutting back its military planes business, with 1,400 of the jobs set to go across five sites - particularly Warton and Salmesbury in Lancashire where the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft assembly takes place.

The UK's biggest defence supplier is under pressure as a long-awaited Typhoon order from Saudi Arabia has not yet materialised.

Around 375 redundancies have been announced at the company's, maritime servicing and support business, which will mainly affect Portsmouth operations.

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

Chief executive Charles Woodburn said, "The organisational changes we are announcing today accelerate our evolution to a more streamlined, de-layered organisation, with a sharper competitive edge and a renewed focus on technology."

BAE said in August that for the six months ending 30 June, 2017, the company posted sales worth 9.5 billion up from 8.7 billion in the same period last year and its earnings increased from 849 million the previous year to 945 million.

In September, the outlook had brightened for the company with the statement of intent for an order for 24 Typhoon aircraft from Qatar which helped raise hopes on safeguarding jobs.

However, with customer in Saudi Arabia still considering an order for a further 24 Typhoons following the delivery of the last of its 72 orders in June and stiff competition from the likes of the Rafale and F-35, the lack of certainty over future orders has warranted a close look at production needs, according to commentators.

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