Helicopter firm AgustaWestland to cut 375 UK jobs


British helicopter maker AgustaWestland Friday said it would cut 375 jobs in the UK due to falling revenues from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and slowing export orders. The company, owned by Italian defence group Finmeccanica, said the jobs would go at its Yeovil headquarters in south west England and at its base in Farnborough in the south.

“Revenues from the Ministry of Defence are declining and shifting towards longer term support solutions, while export orders that have slipped in the near term are projected to grow over time,” the company said in a statement. “The specific demands of the commercial helicopter sector and the ever more competitive export markets require the company to operate on an even more cost-effective basis going forward.”

The Anglo-Italian company, which recently launched its new AW169 civil helicopter, said the majority of jobs would be cut from its management and corporate departments. The cuts at AgustaWestland come just two weeks after Europe’s biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said it would slash nearly 3,000 jobs in Britain as smaller global defence budgets hit orders for its fighter jets.

Arms makers globally are bracing for more cuts in defence spending sparked partly by this summer’s debt-ceiling deal in the United States — the world’s biggest arms market. Britain, meanwhile, slashed its defence budget by 8 percent last year to help reduce its deficit, hitting BAE, which makes around a fifth of its revenue in the UK.