BAE to lay off almost 3,000 in Britain

Pressure on U.S. defense budget cited as one cause

Layoffs and unemployment problems are not limited to this side of the Atlantic. BAE Systems today announced nearly 3,000 potential job cuts in its Military Air and Information and Shared Services businesses and at its headquarters at Farnborough, England.

The announcement said the layoffs are “in response to changes in key programs and the need to maintain competitiveness through offering affordable products and services to customers.”

“Our customers are facing huge pressures on their defense budgets, and affordability has become an increasing priority," BAE Systems CEO Ian King said in the announcement Sept. 27. "Our business needs to rise to this challenge to maintain its competitiveness and ensure its long-term future."

Some of BAE’s major programs have seen significant changes, he said.

“Pressure on the U.S. defense budget and top-level program changes mean the anticipated increase in F-35 production rates will be slower than originally planned, again impacting on our expected workload,” he said. “To ensure we remain competitive, both in the U.K. and internationally, we need to reduce the overall costs of our businesses in-line with our reduced workload.”

King said the proposed layoffs aim to put the business into the right shape to address current and future challenges and ensure that the company is in the best position to win future business.

“This transformation process is not going to be easy,” he said. “We understand that this is a time of uncertainty for our employees, and we are committed to working with them and their representatives to explore ways of mitigating the potential job losses.”

BAE Systems Inc., of Arlington, Va., ranks No. 17 on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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