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BAE Considers Closing Newcastle Site as Terrier Production Ends

BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s largest defense contractor, said it’s negotiating 620 jobcuts across the U.K. as it prepares to close a site in northern England when production of an armored vehicle runs out.

The Newcastle upon Tyne site, where the company makes combat vehicles, armored engineering vehicles and personnel carriers, is scheduled to close at the end of 2013. Some 330 jobs would go at the facility, with an additional 280 losses at a munitions business, according to London-based BAE.

“The Newcastle proposal follows a business review which concluded that there was no prospect of new U.K. armored vehicle manufacturing work once production of the Terrier engineering vehicle at the Tyneside factory ceases at the end of next year,” BAE said in the release.

BAE has been reducing employment in the U.K. as governments cut spending. The Newcastle site was a hub for tank production for close to a century after Britain introduced the world’s first tank at the Battle of the Somme during World War I. BAE spokeswoman Kate Watcham commented by telephone today.

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