Major blow to Eurofighter Typhoon production

Posted on 19 Oct 2017 and read 1011 times
Major blow to Eurofighter Typhoon productionBAE Systems says it is planning to cut almost 2,000 jobs, including a total of 750 at the Warton and Samlesbury plants in Lancashire, where parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon are made (the company is facing an order gap for the Typhoon and needs to slow production before an expected order from Qatar).

In his report, BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said: “Most of the pain for BAE Systems will be felt in its air business.

“Orders for the Typhoon jet have slowed down amid stiff competition from the new F-35, part of which is made by BAE Systems, and from France’s Rafale and the US F-16. Overall, the multi-national Typhoon/Eurofighter programme, which includes Germany, Italy and Spain, has received 599 orders from eight customers.

“BAE has already sold more than 70 Typhoons to Saudi Arabia and had been hoping to sell more. The political controversy surrounding arms sales to the Middle East kingdom probably hasn’t helped.

Support jobs will also be lost, as the RAF Tornado comes to the end of its life, with the RAF planning to retire its squadrons by 2019. Orders have also slowed down for the Hawk Trainer jet.”

In a statement, BAE Systems said it was making organisational changes to “boost competitiveness, accelerate technology innovation and improve operational excellence”. It added that the restructuring of its cyber-security wing would “drive continued growth”.

Chief executive Charles Woodburn said the changes “unfortunately include proposed redundancies at a number of operations. I recognise this will be difficult news for some of our employees, and we will do everything we can to support those affected.”

He added that most of the military air job cuts would take place in the next two years, and that BAe wanted to achieve as many voluntary redundancies as possible. The changes are due to begin on 1 January.

In response to this announcement, Ross Murdoch — GMB National Officer — said: “This announcement by BAE is yet another blow to the UK’s manufacturing sector.

“The Government must get off its behind and stop dithering if it wants to save the UK’s highly skilled aerospace jobs.

“The Prime Minister must step up to the plate and forge trade deals with overseas partner countries, as well as delivering a cast-iron commitment now to build the next generation of fighter planes.”

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