BAE Systems to cut nearly 2,000 jobs

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

BAE Systems is planning to cut almost 2,000 UK jobs in its military, maritime and intelligence services under moves to streamline its business and have a "sharper" competitive edge, the defence giant has announced.

The 1,915 redundancies span across the firm's military, maritime and intelligence services as it moves to cut costs.

The biggest cutback will be in the military air business, with 1,400 jobs set to be axed across five sites over the next three years, including Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire, where the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft assembly takes place.

Jobs will also be cut at Brough in East Yorkshire and at RAF bases in Marham, Norfolk, and Leeming in North Yorkshire.

Around 375 proposed redundancies were announced in BAE's maritime servicing and support business, mainly affecting Portsmouth.

Some jobs will also go from the company's cyber intelligence business in London and Guildford.

Where will BAE Systems jobs be cut?

  • 750 at Warton & Samlesbury, Lancs

  • 400 at Brough, East Yorkshire

  • 245 at RAF Marham & RAF Leeming

  • 340 at Portsmouth & Solent

  • 150 at London, Guildford and other Applied Intelligence locations

  • 30 at other locations

BAE's chief executive Charles Woodburn said the redundancies were "necessary" to streamline the company but acknowledged the job losses would be "difficult news" for staff.

RAF Marham is among the locations where jobs will be cut. Credit: PA

Unite union said that it will fight the "devastatingly short sighted" plans as it accused the firm of "betraying" workers and allowing defence jobs to move overseas.

It said by 2020, around 25% of the UK’s defence spend will be benefiting American factories and companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin as it called for the Government to step in to protect British industry.

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith said confirmation of the job losses was "truly appalling news for BAE's workers and for communities across the UK".

"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."

Minister Claire Perry said the government was doing all it could to help affected staff.

Industrial Strategy minister Claire Perry said the Government was standing by to work with BAE Systems and affected staff, but rejected suggestions that they should put pressure on the company to reverse job losses.

"It would be wrong for the Government to try to interfere in business processes," she told the House of Commons in response to an urgent question on the issue.

"What we can say is we have have committed to making sure that the company does this as sensitivity as possible."