BAE Systems to Cut 620 Jobs in Britain

Will also shut factory

Arms manufacturer BAE Systems (IW 1000/123) on May 30 said it planned to cut 620 jobs and shut a factory making armored vehicles in Britain following government cuts to military spending.

Company managing director Charlie Blakemore added that BAE needed "to adapt to very challenging market conditions and further reduce ... overheads."

BAE said it planned to cut 330 positions at its site in Newcastle, northeast England, which would also lead to the plant's closure at the end of next year.

"The Newcastle proposal follows a business review which concluded that there was no prospect of new UK armored vehicle manufacturing work once production of the Terrier engineering vehicle ... ceases at the end of next year."

The Newcastle site has a long history, including the manufacturing of tanks during the First World War.

BAE added that it intends to cut 280 jobs at sites in its munitions business, while up to 10 job losses were being mulled at the company's head office in Farnborough, southwest of London.

"The proposal under consultation in the munitions business results from two factors: the business is delivering major efficiency improvements; and the UK Ministry of Defence has reduced the volumes of ammunition it requires, which together have reduced manpower requirements."

BAE Systems has a global workforce of about 100,000 people, of which 35,000 are in Britain.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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