BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest defence contractor, is to axe 2,000 jobs in a bitter blow for Britain’s manufacturing industry.
The FTSE 100 company said the redundancies – across military, maritime and intelligence services – would be part of moves to streamline the business with a renewed focus on technology.
Unions reacted with anger, accusing the company of being “short-sighted” and the government of ceding control of UK defence manufacturing to factories overseas.
As Sky News exclusively reported on Monday, BAE confirmed the biggest cutbacks would fall in its military air business amid sluggish orders for its Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft – forcing production to be slowed.
It said 1,400 jobs would go across five sites over the next three years with the Warton and Samlesbury plants in Lancashire, where the Typhoon is assembled, bearing the brunt alongside its Brough factory.
Operations in Portsmouth will be worst affected by plans to cut 375 staff from maritime servicing and support.
The rest of the job losses, numbering around 150 people, will focus on cyber intelligence roles in London, Guildford and overseas.
The news was announced just three months after the company got a new chief executive following the retirement of Ian King.
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.
“These actions will further strengthen our company as we deliver our strategy in a changing environment.”