Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

UK's BAE to cut some 2000 defense industry jobs

BAE Systems' new boss will cut around 2,000 jobs at Britain's biggest defence contractor to tackle dwindling orders for the Typhoon fighter jet and the loss of revenue from Cold War-era aircraft nearing retirement.

"To ensure production continuity at competitive costs and based on the profile of now contracted and expected aircraft deliveries, actions continue to be taken to reduce the group's current Typhoon and Hawk production rates", BAE said in a trading update.

A bigger order expected from Saudi Arabia has not materialised.

BAE's new chief executive Charles Woodburn stated (via Financial Times - subscription required) stated that the job layoffs "align workforce capacity with near-term demand and to enhance our competitive position to secure new business".

"There are potential job losses at Cowes, which would be voluntary, but only if it does not jeopardise the critical skills at the site."

Business Minister Claire Perry said BAE hoped to reduce headcount through voluntary redundancies "as far as possible", and promised the government would work to ensure the workers and their skills are "retained within the United Kingdom industry".

She said BAE was cutting the jobs to improve the efficiency of its operations.

BAE is also making 12 Typhoon jets for Gulf state Oman.

Another 400 jobs will go in Brough, north-east England, where the company makes the Hawk training jet, it said.

BAE is now fulfilling outstanding Typhoon orders from the Royal Air Force and Oman, with the latter - along with Saudi Arabia - also accounting for remaining Hawk orders.

Qatar has recently signed a Statement of Intent to purchase Typhoon aircraft and six Hawk aircraft.

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