BAe shuts Harrier site and axes 2,200 jobs

British Aerospace last week announced 2,200 redundancies, a move which will see the closure of its historic Dunsfold site in Surrey, home of the development of the Harrier jump-jet. Most of the job losses will be in BAe’s military aircraft and aerostructures division. The Dunsfold plant will close with 800 redundancies. BAe is looking for […]

British Aerospace last week announced 2,200 redundancies, a move which will see the closure of its historic Dunsfold site in Surrey, home of the development of the Harrier jump-jet.

Most of the job losses will be in BAe’s military aircraft and aerostructures division.

The Dunsfold plant will close with 800 redundancies. BAe is looking for a further 1,400 voluntary redundancies, more than half of these being made at the Warton and Salmesbury sites in Lancashire. Other redundancies are being sought at Chadderton in Greater Manchester; at Brough, in East Yorkshire; at Prestwick in Scotland; and at BAe’s headquarters at Farnborough in Hampshire.

BAe said the job losses have been caused by changes in the type of skills required in the business, with rising employment in engineering, systems and information technology but a smaller requirement for established manufacturing and support activities.

BAe claimed there are improvements in efficiency and productivity to be achieved. For instance, the Eurofighter Typhoon will require 18 months to build compared to 36 months for its predecessor, the Tornado bomber.

The cost of implementing this restructuring will result in pre-tax charges totalling £250m.

BAe chief executive John Weston said the restructuring would `accelerate our drive for continuous productivity improvements’.

The company has already announced job losses at Royal Ordnance, with the plan to close the Faldingworth and Bishopton plants with job losses at Nottingham and Summerfield. This will take place this year, and was caused by declining orders from the Ministry of Defence as its ammunition requirements fell.

Job losses were also recently announced at the company’s Land & Sea Systems business – a result of integration of the former Siemens Plessey and BAe/ SEMA businesses.

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