BAE contract bid will not stop cuts

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Defence giant BAE Systems is bidding for a lucrative contract to build aircraft for the United States Air Force, but it would not help close a manufacturing gap at one of the sites hit by this week's job losses announcement, the firm said today.

The company has announced almost 3,000 job cuts, mainly in its military aircraft division, including 900 at Brough in Yorkshire.

The firm is bidding to build Hawk aircraft, which are manufactured at Brough, but it stressed that most of the work would be done in the United States under a so-called TX programme, if it wins the contract.

A spokesman said: "The TX campaign is being led out of BAE Systems Inc and reinforces the global interest in Hawk.

"The United States Air Force (USAF) has a requirement to replace their ageing training aircraft and we believe Hawk is best placed to meet their needs. However, an initial in-service date is not likely to be until 2017.

"BAE Systems has been clear throughout that the bulk of the manufacturing of the Hawk aircraft for the USAF would be done in the United States with a strong US supply chain supported by UK industry. This is critical to our bid.

"There is no link between the decision to terminate manufacture at Brough and our TX bid. The TX bid is being led out of BAE Systems Inc in the United States.

"A successful bid by BAE Systems Inc on the TX programme would not change the fact that the planned in-service date is 2017 - this does not help close a manufacturing gap in Brough."