BAE Systems to shed almost 2000 jobs

BAE Systems to 'cut over 1,000 jobs including at Typhoon fighter jet factory'

A total of 750 posts will go at the Warton and Samlesbury plants in Lancashire where parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon are manufactured.

BAE is facing an order gap for the Typhoon so production is being slowed ahead of an expected order from Qatar.

The military contractor announced the cuts this morning as part of a move towards stream-lining its business, adding that it would give it a "sharper", competitive edge.

"I recognise this will be hard news for some of our employees and we are committed to do everything we can to support those affected", said chief executive Charles Woodburn. However, he said he remained confident about future orders for the aircraft.

On Tuesday, BAE said the timing of future orders is always uncertain.

It said that it expects to cut around 1,400 roles overall within the military air division, across five sites over the next three years.

Sources said that Brexit was "not a factor" in the BAE decision.

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith called the cuts "appalling news for BAE's workers and for communities across the UK".

'The organisational changes we are announcing today accelerate our evolution to a more streamlined, de-layered organisation'.

Now being assembled for Oman and Saudi Arabia, Hawk production is secure until 2019, says the airframer. Steve Turner, said: "If these job cuts materialise it will significantly undermine our nation's sovereign defence capability and leave us reliant on foreign powers and foreign companies for the successor to the Typhoon and the defence of the nation". BAE's naval servicing operations in the south of England also may be affected.

BAE said in August that any new orders were unlikely to impact production delivery rates positively for at least 24 months, and production would be under constant review.

Speaking to media today, Unite union has 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 Ministry of Defence faces a big budget hole after miscalculating the cost of the Trident nuclear programme and the purchase of F-35s from the US.

No jobs are at risk at BAE's facilities on the Clyde, where it is building the next generation of Royal Navy frigates.

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