United Kingdom defence giant BAE Systems to axe nearly 2000 jobs

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Up to 30 jobs at BAE Systems' Cowes site are at risk following today's (Tuesday) announcement that nearly 2,000 jobs are to be cut nationwide.

In September, the outlook had brightened for the company with the statement of intent for an order for 24 Typhoon aircraft from Qatar which helped raise hopes on safeguarding jobs.

A bigger order expected from Saudi Arabia has not materialised. Those actions are necessary and the right thing to do for our company, but unfortunately include proposed redundancies at a number of operations.

Business minister Claire Perry said she would work with BAE to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

"These actions will further strengthen our company as we deliver our strategy in a changing environment".

Aerospace workers across the North of England faced the prospect of losing their jobs as giant BAE Systems today confirmed it will cut almost 2,000 roles. Those job losses will fall across five sites over the next three years, including Warton and Samlesbury in northwestern England, where Eurofighter warplanes are assembled.

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BAE is now fulfilling outstanding Typhoon orders from the Royal Air Force and Oman, with the latter - along with Saudi Arabia - also accounting for remaining Hawk orders.

Some jobs will also go from the company's cyber intelligence business in London and Guildford.

Around 375 job losses are planned for the maritime servicing and support business, with 340 in Portsmouth.

The Unite union's assistant general-secretary, Steve Turner, says the government can "end the uncertainty surrounding the future of thousands of British BAE defence jobs at a stroke by committing to building the next generation fighter jets here in the United Kingdom".

BAE, which in previous guises has been the backbone of Britain's defence industry for decades, employs 34,600 people in the country out of its global workforce of 83,100.

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