UK-based defense contractor BAE Systems announced Tuesday that it intends to cut 375 jobs from its maritime services division, most of them from its Portsmouth Naval Base unit. Staff at the base reported that BAE intends to cut 340 positions there, beginning with a voluntary redundancy scheme. Along with additional cuts – most of them in BAE's air and information business segments – the firm will reduce its headcount by a total of 2,000 positions across the UK.
The job cuts are part of a broader restructuring, which will see BAE’s business reorganized into four divisions – Air, Land, Applied Intelligence and Maritime. Maritime was previously divided into three different units within the company's Platforms & Services (P&S) UK division. "The proposed rationalisation will more closely align capacity with workload, improve our competitiveness in order to retain and grow our position on key programmes, and retain critical skills and capabilities," BAE said in a statement.
BAE has a five-year, $800 million Maritime Support Delivery Framework (MSDF) contract to support half of the Royal Navy's fleet, including the management of Portsmouth Naval Base. The contract covers a full range of support services, including maintenance, repair and equipment upgrades.
The firm recently reached an agreement with the Ministry of Defense to expand that contract to cover the Royal Navy's newest and most sophisticated vessels, the jump-ramp carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The $70 million expansion extends BAE's maritime services to cover all of the vessels at the base. In addition, BAE recently won a $14 million contract expansion to install a combined heat and power plant for the facility, a project that will be completed by the end of next year.