BAE Systems cuts 1,300 jobs, including IT

Blames the government's termination of the Harrier and Nimrod military aircraft programmes

Defence company BAE Systems has announced 1,307 job losses in the UK, and confirmed that some will be IT roles.

The job cuts will be made in response to the Ministry of Defence cancelling its contracts with BAE Systems for the Harrier and Nimrod MRA4 programmes, following the government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.

"I expect there will be [IT job cuts] because the government announced in its review that it was ending the Nimrod and Harrier programme and within those programmes there would be some IT-related jobs," a spokesperson for the company said.

However, she added: "But I expect there would be very few [IT job cuts] compared to the bulk of the cuts, which will be in the engineering and manufacturing areas."

Job losses are expected to take place at six of BAE Systems' UK sites and at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland and RAF Kinloss in Moray. The highest number of losses - 668 - will be experienced at the Warton site in Lancashire, followed by 214 from the company's Farnborough site.

BAE Systems said it had started consultations with its employees, and part of the consultation will cover the potential closure of its Woodford site in Cheshire earlier than the previously announced date of 2012.

The Unite trade union labelled the job cuts a "tragedy" for British manufacturing, and said that the UK will lose its technological expertise for building fixed-wing military aircraft in the future.

"BAE's workers are urging the government to think again and reverse this decision," said Bernie Hamilton, Unite national officer.

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Anh Nguyen

Computerworld UK
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