The recent announcement by Bae Systems that it intends to close, from next year, the historic Scotswood plant on Tyneside has come under attack in the Commons.
The Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, who's constituency includes Scotswood, said the 165 year old plant was the longest serving tank manufacturing plant in the whole world.
The Defence Minister Peter Luff praised the contribution of the Tyneside workforce to the armed forces through the years but questioned why Bae Systems had put into such an uncompetitive bid for future tank production.
The firm said 330 jobs will be lost through the closure of the Newcastle site, which is currently making Terrier vehicles for the Army. Jobs will also go at the Washington site.
BAE will close at the end of 2013, a recent business review concluded that there was no prospect of new UK armoured vehicle manufacturing work once production of the Terrier ends next year.