back to article BAE confirms it is slashing 2,000 jobs

BAE Systems has confirmed it is to slash 2,000 jobs across its military, maritime and intelligence services operations. Some 750 roles will be cut in Warton & Samlesbury in Lancashire, England, where the firm builds its Eurofighter Typhoon. Another 400 will go in East Yorkshire; 245 are to be cut in RAF Marham & RAF Leeming; …

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  1. Caustic Soda

    The government is cutting spending on a number of areas of defence. What do people expect to happen?

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      I dont know why an aeroplane company is running a cyber security business, but they say they sell to gov and commercial alike.

      Also I thought we were in the business of selling high tech death machines to dubious human rights abusing regimes abroad such as

      Saudi Arabia,Oman,Kuwait, as well as ,Germany and Spain ,Italy,Austria

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "I dont know why an aeroplane company is running a cyber security business, "

        Well it could be they want in house capability due to their very super secret defense work.

        No, I'm fu**ing with you.

        What you've got to know about BAe is they are a government con-tractor.

        IOW their core skills are

        a)Talking BS to Ministers. b)Talking BS to civil servants c) Concoting plausible (but probably unworkable) defense concepts that will cost billions to develop d) Having staff who can fabricate (after all they are meant to be a mfg company :-) )the necessary paperwork to prove all work has been done and how much it costs, so they can get paid.

        BAe bought "Smith Associates" who were (and probably still are) hand-in-blouse with GCHQ for the boxes to install in ISP's for on demand snooping serious national security investigations.

        BAe are famous for walking away from the Blairs National Identity Register Card scheme. In hindsight because it had other bidders. Why compete when you can be a sole source and can fabricate unauditable invoices for stuff (National Security).

      2. Rob Gr

        "Also I thought we were in the business of selling high tech death machines to dubious human rights abusing regimes abroad such as

        Saudi Arabia,Oman,Kuwait, as well as ,Germany and Spain ,Italy,Austria"

        Exactly, my heart fails resolutely to bleed on this one.

        1. AndyS

          My heart goes out to anyone losing their job.

          But rejoices that, in this case, it appears to be because the world is buying fewer machines for killing people. Long may that trend continue, and the best of luck to those affected in finding new, more morally productive, work.

          I wonder what the ratio is of people killed by each Typhoon to those employed building it?

          1. Jeremy Puddleduck

            So you are okay with the Russians flying into our airspace on a weekly basis, unchallenged. Interesting approach to national security you have. I quite like the idea of make sure we go an investigate and shoo people who shouldn't be above us away. But of course, the Typhoons only kill people right? And the UK doesn't need defending?

      3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        RE: "aeroplane company"

        "I dont know why an aeroplane company is running a cyber security business, "

        BAE aren't an aeroplane company - they are a many-tentacled defence contractor, e.g. they also do a nice line in nuclear submarines. Given the odds of the next world war being fought in cyberspace to a greater or lesser degree, then having a cyber security sector of the business makes sense.

      4. Lotaresco

        Dunno

        "I dont know why an aeroplane company is running a cyber security business"

        I don't know why you don't know that. It was very well publicised at the time.

        Companies buy and sell other businesses all the time. When your market is shrinking it makes some sense to diversify.

    2. Commswonk

      @ Caustic Soda The government is cutting spending on a number of areas of defence. What do people expect to happen?

      I expect that something will happen (sooner rather than later) to which UK Armed Service personnel will be committed, and that there will not be enough of them to do the job properly and those that are there will be ill / under equipped to do the job required of them. To be fair the scaling back of the Eurofighter programme is only a small part of that, but it is indicative of how "defence" is treated these days.

      The most recent example is the suggested sale of HMS Ocean; if next year's hurrican season in the Caribbean is a repeat of this year then there won't be an HMS Ocean to go in support of beleaguered islanders. Thinking about it if the rumours are true there wouldn't be enough Royal Marines to go and help either.

      To a politician defence spending can be reduced without any formal reduction in defence commitments, but it simply cannot work that way. Historically Conservative governments could be relied upon to maintain "the military" but ever since the cuts of 2010 (e.g."Harrier") that is clearly no longer the case.

      I'm not suggesting that BAE Systens should be presented with facilities for direct debits from taxpayers' pockets but IMHO potential commitments (in both men and materiel) are too far ahead of capabilities; the "Capability Gap".

      1. BebopWeBop
        Pirate

        Historically Conservative governments could be relied upon to maintain "the military" but ever since the cuts of 2010 (e.g."Harrier") that is clearly no longer the case.

        Not partisan, but the Conservatives have a better (?) record than Labour in cutting defence spending over the last 40 years. Now some might say that they are getting better value for money (haha) but the numbers are clear. I always thought that this was a result of not wishing to be blamed for defence cuts, but still.

        The fact is that (possibly mislead by senior officers with their toys and competing service mentalities) or civil servants (budget = prestige) most British politicians have dons a shit job at understanding and/or maintaining the armed servics

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good job there are no threats out there.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "The redundancies will take effect from 1 January 2018."

    Happy Christmas folks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Merry Christmas

      For many years I worked for a large multi-disciplined company, not BAE, but not a million miles removed. Every October the bean-counters looked at the forecasts for the following year and decided how many heads they wanted to cut. Almost every year early October saw 90 day consultancy notices issued. And it was usually mid-Decmeber before the notices were withdrawn and/or you were notifed that your job was safe.

      Senior Manglement could never understand why moral was so low, or why productivity dropped in Q4.

      1. Zmodem

        Re: Merry Christmas

        most of them get paid £60k a year and paid off their house before they were 40 years old

        1. Jeremy Puddleduck

          Re: Merry Christmas

          Pish. The people going will be predominantly be the technicians assembling the aircraft and you have a very distorted view of what a technician makes if you think they are on £60k in Lancashire.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      ""The redundancies will take effect from 1 January 2018.""

      Live by the defense contract, die by the defense contract.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ""The redundancies will take effect from 1 January 2018.""

        "Live by the defense contract, die by the defense contract."

        Get most of your money from a customer who earns money mostly in pounds and spends large chunks in dollars and euros, and watch as their spending decreases when the value of the pound falls. This effect is *not* limited to defense.

  3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    "The proposed restructuring of our Applied Intelligence cyber security business will drive continued growth from a more targeted portfolio of products and services focussed on providing leading cyber security, intelligence and financial crime prevention capabilities to government and commercial customers in priority geographic markets," it said in a statement

    Well thats a relief

    Let me have a stab at translating

    "Restructuring our AV business will make more profit from a smaller product that does AV stuff for gov and commercial outfits in ... a certain place?"

    I cant quite figure out what a "priority geographic market" is.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Any nation that wants to turn their part of the Internet into a repressive spy machine.

    2. SkippyBing

      'I cant quite figure out what a "priority geographic market" is.'

      I think it's called the Middle East by most people.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I cant quite figure out what a "priority geographic market" is.

      The country with the most money [and the least sense?]

    4. herman Silver badge

      A "priority geographic market" = Saudi Arabia, obviously.

  4. SkippyBing

    Forward Planning

    I'm continually impressed by the ability of UK companies to look more than one financial year ahead. I mean it's not as if the slow down in Typhoon orders wasn't predictable or foreseen, which would have allowed them to develop another product* to use the spare capacity.

    *Maybe, shock horror, something that doesn't rely on the defence budget, I hear green energy is a growth market requiring skills in the use of composites and advanced manufacturing techniques.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Forward Planning

      well apparently they are into cyber security. I think the was a story on the reg of someone getting pwned who'd employed BAE to cyber secure them. Maybe theyre still learning...

    2. Simon Harris

      Re: Forward Planning

      Apparently they make electric and hybrid drive units for buses, ships and railways (I never knew that before!)

      http://www.hybridrive.com/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forward Planning

        And the skeleton sled for the 2014 winter olympics.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Forward Planning

          "And the skeleton sled for the 2014 winter olympics."

          Theres a mass market winner , everyone needs one of those!

    3. David Pearce

      Re: Forward Planning

      The Typhoon has been the wrong aircraft since it first flew. A short range air superiority fighter intended to fight over East Germany. Now bodged to do ground attack.

      Reality is that the RAF and similar need a simpler air defence aircraft to tackle Russian heavy bombers and something simple, cheaper and robust for ground strike -preferably with a decent range

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Forward Planning

        Reality is that the RAF and similar need a simpler air defence aircraft to tackle Russian heavy bombers and something simple, cheaper and robust for ground strike -preferably with a decent range

        It sounds like you're describing the Tornado

        1. SkippyBing

          Re: Forward Planning

          'It sounds like you're describing the Tornado'

          Far too complex, the Buccaneer would be better...

          Oddly I believe the Typhoon was originally intended to fulfil the Air Staff Target for a Jaguar replacement, but that had been retired by the time it entered service, and then the Tornado F3 needed replacing. Basically it was the only programme left to replace whatever the RAF were getting rid of.

        2. YARR

          Re: Forward Planning

          Reality is that the RAF and similar need a simpler air defence aircraft to tackle Russian heavy bombers and something simple, cheaper and robust for ground strike -preferably with a decent range

          Both sound like ideal scenarios for drones.

          Perhaps some newly redundant workers should found a UK drone design bureau to compete with BAe, using UK gov funding for startups. Might save the taxpayer a fortune in the long run.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Forward Planning

          Tornado v Mig 35?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once we were at the leading front of aircraft design and manufacture but no longer. If you want to see how good we once were then get yourself down to Duxford which now sums up UK industry, a museum exhibit.

    A one minutes silence please for British manufacturing.

    1. A K Stiles
      Facepalm

      You said "Duxford" but I read "Dunsfold" - an ex-BAE site and now the home of the Top Gear test track. So still a viable example for your statement.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Zmodem

        the typhoon is still the best jet fighter in the world, which is why is can easily beat the lockheed raptor in a dog fight without the typhoon being stealth

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge

    The government is cutting spending on a number of areas. What do people expect to happen?

    FTFY- the only difference here is that defence spending puts cash directly into big businesses rather than, say, school budgets, or libraries,or parks. How many teaching assistant jobs have been lost through "austerity"? How many libraries closed or left to be run by volunteers? How many parks have become run down or even sold off completely? But that doesn't make headlines.

  7. Ben1892

    It's a game of blackmail they play with the MOD/Govt of the day - if you don't buy product X we'll be forced to lay off all these people in this priority geographic area that you'd quite like some votes from come next election. I bet they tried to flog their AV to the UK Govt and they told them, "erm nope, I'd go back to building planes if I were you."

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      @Ben1892 They don't really need that kind of blackmail. Because they are offering nice juicy sinecures to senior civil servants for "consultancy" or maybe seats on the board.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Calling Mr Kim!

    We need a damned good war to reinvigorate the military-industrial complex.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Calling Mr Kim!

      @ J J Carter

      I am not sure that would work. It isnt going to take a great deal to defeat wooden rockets and troops with sub-par kit. The primary problem with hitting the place is the population may not appreciate anyone approaching with authority or force (they live under it daily), S.Korea is friendly and they will likely take damage as the north looks for someone they can actually hit with most of their kit, and of course China who used N.Korea as a pawn but now fears the flood of refugees as people take the opportunity to run.

      But if it does kick off with N.Korea we will likely barely be involved (air strikes maybe, probably logistics) while the US and possibly China pound the ill equipped army. The after affects likely being worse than the war as civi's turn out to be terrorists and N.K tries to find its place in the world. A world that has left it so far behind.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Calling Mr Kim!

        That's why we need a civil war.

        You can hold it at home, so no worries about the range of the Eurofighter, you get to sell the same weapons to both sides so double the profits and whatever happens the country wins.

        And it's still less destructive than Brexit

        1. Miss Lincolnshire

          Re: Calling Mr Kim!

          And after Brexit we can get back to building the original Typhoon and some Fairey Swordfish for the new carriers. I bet the swarthy foreigners are cowering already.

          Britain is back......................................to the 40s

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Calling Mr Kim!

            @ Miss Lincolnshire

            "And after Brexit we can get back to building"

            Ha, first a chunk of the population will have to pop their heads back out after predicting the brexocalypse where either the country or the world will fall apart because the UK left the EU. Look at Yet Another Anonymous coward thinking a civil war would be less damaging than brexit. At first I assumed these people were spouting hyperbole but it does seem that some of these people dont realise the world extends beyond the cartel! These people will need time to readjust as they dont have the desire to move to their claimed utopia EU but demand the country be changed around them.

            And it will be a shock to the people who nothing more than protesting and dictatorship. They will have to work and figure out how democracy works. I wonder if they will be shouting in defence of N.Korea if it all kicks off or if they dont think about it as its out of the EU.

            "Britain is back......................................to the 40s"

            There is hope though! With brexit at least we will get to move forward instead of being dragged down and back by the EU. An organisation designed on such an old world and, as demonstrated by their handling of the financial crash, are happy to repeat history.

            1. colinb

              Re: Calling Mr Kim!

              "dragged down and back by the EU"

              Again and again the poor player blaming the team.

              This is mostly BAE self inflicted. A single client throws a wobble and 2000 familes are looking at a shitty Christmas.

              They could have continued nicely in commercial aviation but like eager children sold out of EADS (Airbus, you know, that European project) in 2006.

              Luckily for the 5,900 souls that work in ex BAE Broughton and Filton the muppets are no longer involved.

              Then in 2012 they looked to merge back with EADS (Airbus, you know, that European project), that was kiboshed by politics to be fair but once you sell you influence don't be surprised if you can't get back to where you were .

              I work in Aircraft leasing and Airbus are on a roll, the A321LR is outselling the Boeing MAX-9 5-1, forcing them to bring out a MAX-10 variant. Airbus simply can't make them quick enough.

              Are they massively subsidised, of course its a political desire not to have all US planes, but that's what global competition looks like, it takes scale, large investment and the ability to step on the competitors neck (US) if they step on yours.

              UK is cashing out its ticket on the EU cartel, it will now simply have to buy back in for every advantage it thinks it needs, as any fool knows buying separately will be more expensive than buying a basket.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Calling Mr Kim!

                "Airbus simply can't make them quick enough."

                Maybe they should subcontract some work out to Bombardier in Belfast.

                1. colinb

                  Re: Calling Mr Kim!

                  It's not a parts issue more an assembly/fitout bottleneck in Toulouse/Hamburg.

                  Bombardier did try to sell a majority share in the CSeries to Airbus a few years back. I hope the CS100 does well, Its 3-2 seating Layout looks very passenger friendly.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Calling Mr Kim!

              The 1640's? Those were the days.

          2. herman Silver badge

            Re: Calling Mr Kim!

            Hmm, the Tiffy is way too complex for the current UK industrial capabilities. The Swordfish however, is about right. Fact is, given the unsophisticated enemies the UK faces (Hint, Russia is not the enemy), a flight of Sopwith Camels will do just fine.

      2. Commswonk

        Re: Calling Mr Kim!

        @ codejunky: I am not sure that would work. It isnt going to take a great deal to defeat wooden rockets and troops with sub-par kit.

        You mean like last time there was fighting in Korea? Or for a more recent example think"Vietnam". If it came down to fighting (I hesitate to say "limited war", because it probably wouldn't be in any sense "limited") then there would be no certainty that China and/or Russia wouldn't support the NK cause for their own reasons, but even if both countries were prepared to sit on the sidelines it is hard to see how SK could escape near total destruction.

        As has been shown time and time again just hurling big munitions on to a piece of territory is not enough to defeat it; it needs boots on the ground and it doesn't need a fertile imagination to see where that could lead. Like I said earlier... think Vietnam. Simply decapitating the NK regime in the expectation that that would be enough to ensure instant victory is fantasy.

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