October 11, 2017

News Briefs – October 11, 2017

UK’s BAE to cut some 2,000 defense industry jobs

British defense company BAE Systems said Oct. 10 it is cutting almost 2,000 jobs in its military, maritime and intelligence services amid a slowdown in orders for its Typhoon fighter jets.

CEO Charles Woodburn said in a statement that the cuts are necessary to “align our workforce capacity more closely with near-term demand and enhance our competitive position to secure new business.”

The jobs lost are largely at five sites over three years, including Warton and Samlesbury in northwest England, where the Eurofighter Typhoon is assembled.

The company said that while it expects Typhoon orders from Qatar, the order’s timing is uncertain and production is being slowed.

Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of the Unite union, said the cuts will “not only undermine Britain’s sovereign defense capability, but devastate communities across the U.K. who rely on these skilled jobs.”

Business Minister Claire Perry said BAE hoped to reduce headcount through voluntary redundancies “as far as possible,” and promised the government would work to ensure the workers and their skills are “retained within the U.K. industry.”

She said the cuts were the result of internal restructuring, and “not related to any U.K. defense spending decisions.” AP

U.S. Navy spending $4.3 million to support testing at missile range

The U.S. Navy plans to spend $4.3 million on a project at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to support future testing for naval operations.

The funding was recently announced by U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich’s office. The New Mexico Democrat, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had pushed for more money to revitalize government laboratories and test ranges as part of a defense spending measure.

With the funds, officials say they will be able to build upon the Navy’s research and development test site at the White Sands complex in southern New Mexico.

Heinrich described White Sands as a national treasure for the U.S. military given its unique terrain, airspace and the expertise of those who work there. In addition to preparing for future testing, he says the project will result in construction jobs. AP

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2018 Los Angeles County Air Show Guide

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