BAE Systems will cut 1116 jobs in the UK as work for the Royal Air Force (RAF) on ageing military hardware such as Nimrod surveillance and reconnaissance jets dries up and short term contracts end.
BAE, Europe’s biggest defence contractor, said today that the end of Nimrod MRA4 production would result in the closure of its Woodford site in Cheshire, northwest England, and the loss of 630 jobs, Reuters reports.
“Despite strenuous efforts to achieve further Nimrod production work there has been none forthcoming,” the company said in a statement. “It is intended that there will be a phased run-down of the site in line with the production programme.”
Early versions of the Nimrod aircraft entered service with the RAF in the late 1960s.
Elsewhere the company said 205 jobs would be lost at its Samlesbury plant in Lancashire, also in the northwest of England, due to the end of a contract to carry out Airbus work on behalf of Spirit Aero Systems.
A further 170 jobs will go in Warton, Lancashire and 111 at Farnborough in the south of England due to slowing demand for upgrade work and maintenance on Tornado fighter aircraft, Harrier jump-jets and Hawk training aircraft, all of which are based on technology dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.
“Whilst we regret having to make this announcement we have to ensure we are the right size and shape to remain competitive and meet our customer’s requirements in the future,” Kevin Taylor, BAE’s head of military air solutions, said.
The company announced in April that it would close three other UK sites and cut 500 jobs in response to falling orders and reduced work for the British Army.
It also said earlier this month that it would fight a decision by the United States army to award a multi-billion dollar vehicle contract to a competitor.
Pic: BAE Systems logo