Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 12:12 UK

BAE Systems to cut 500 jobs in UK

bulldog vehicle
The Bulldog, used by the British Army, was among those maintained at Telford

Defence giant BAE Systems is to close three factories in the UK, resulting in the loss of 500 jobs.

The sites at Telford, Leeds and Guildford will close by the end of the year. It will also cut jobs at locations in Newcastle and Barrow.

It comes on the day that the UK formally ends its military presence in Iraq after six years.

The cuts are in its combat vehicles and weapons unit. BAE previously announced it would cut 200 jobs in November.


The Unite union expressed its dismay at the decision.

"We are extremely disappointed, as this announcement impacts the UK's ability to build and design the next-generation armoured vehicles and other equipment," said Unite's national officer Bernie Hamilton.

BAE's job losses come after a "downturn in work" related to the military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The UK government in December postponed a programme to build as many as 2,000 armoured utility vehicles.

"Our forecast UK order intake has reduced and we have to match the size of our business appropriately to the projected nature and volume of workload," the company said.

The unit, the Global Combat Systems Vehicles and Weapons business, employs about 1,820 people in the UK.

BAE said about 100 roles from the three sites that are closing will be transferred to its sites in Leicester and Newcastle.

The Leeds office works on design, while the sites in Guilford and Telford provided support services. The Telford factory worked on maintenance for the Bulldog and Warrior combat vehicles used in Iraq, for example.

BAE employs 105,000 people worldwide, with 32,600 of those based in the UK at 80 sites.

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