BAE boss in pledge to "do everything we can" to support those losing their jobs.

A Eurofighter Typhoon in the field
A Eurofighter Typhoon in the field

The Boss of BAE Systems has said the company will do everything it can to help its 2,000 workers facing redundancy.

Charles Woodburn said when he was appointed to his role as chief executive in July that he wanted to look at making efficiencies and streamline the business to match the number of orders for aircraft for the future.

He said: "We are announcing actions at some of our UK sites to align our workforce capacity more closely with near-term demand and enhance our competitive position to secure new business.

"Those actions are necessary and the right thing to do for our company, but unfortunately include proposed redundancies at a number of operations.

"I recognise this will be difficult news for some of our employees and we are committed to do everything we can to support those affected."

In a statement on Tuesday when the redundancies were announced, BAE said : "Discussions with current and prospective customers continue to support our expectations for additional Typhoon and Hawk orders, including the recently announced Statement of Intent by Qatar to purchase 24 Typhoon aircraft.

"Negotiations are progressing to agree a contract with the government of Qatar, which, if secured, would sustain Typhoon production jobs, and manufacturing well into the next decade.

"However, the timing of future orders is always uncertain and, to ensure production continuity and competitive costs between the completion of current contracts and anticipated new orders, we now plan to reduce Typhoon final assembly and Hawk production rates.

"The recently announced Statement of Intent from Qatar also included the intention to purchase six Hawk aircraft. While this is also subject to agreeing a contract between BAE Systems and the Qatar government, we have taken the decision to include this potential future order in production planning, extending Hawk manufacturing for a further 12 months at a reduced production rate.

"We are actively pursuing additional orders which, if secured in the next year, would further extend Hawk manufacturing.

"Following the UK Government's confirmation that the RAF's Tornado fleet will be taken out of active service in 2019, Tornado support and sustainment activities at RAF Marham and RAF Leeming are progressively winding down and will cease at that time. Longer term, our presence at RAF Marham is underpinned by F-35 sustainment activities."

The F-35 tail and rear fuselage sections for all aircraft world wide are built at BAE Systems' Samlesbury plant, where work on the project is set to increase in volume to meet the 2,800 plus orders placed for the fifth generation stealth fighter.