BAE says the plans could mean the closure of its plant in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as well as up to 280 at other sites in England and Wales.
In a statement, the company said: “BAE Systems is to begin consultation with trade unions and employee representatives on potential job losses in its UK land systems business, including the proposed closure of its Newcastle-upon-Tyne site at the end of 2013.
“Subject to consultation, some 620 jobs could be lost at sites across the UK. This comprises a potential reduction of up to 330 roles at Newcastle and up to 280 at sites in its munitions business, including Radway Green near Crewe, Washington in the north east and Glascoed in South Wales. Up to 10 jobs could be lost at the business’s head office in Farnborough.”
The news follows almost 3,000 job losses at the firm in autumn 2011 which were blamed on government defence cuts and hit the company’s plants in east Yorkshire, Lancashire and Somerset.
BAE Systems’ Managing Director Charlie Blakemore blamed the move on a combination of factors: “We need to adapt to very challenging market conditions and further reduce our overheads to drive better value for our customers and increase our competitiveness in the export market.
“I know that this is difficult news for employees and we will do all we can to help them through this difficult period and mitigate the proposed job losses wherever possible.”