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When BAE Systems announced its latest round of planned layoffs — this one for 3,000 employees — it cited the slow ramp-up in F-35 production as one reason, and a decision to reduce the production rate by the core Eurofighter Typhoon buying countries. Chief Executive Ian King noted that a positive side effect of the slowdown is actually keeping the production line open longer, easing the time pressure to secure further orders in the export market.The decision taken will see output drop to 43 aircraft per year at the end of 2012, from the current level of 53. The result is that, given current orders, the production line will remain open until at least the end of 2017. One goal is to protect long-lead suppliers, rather than to ease the pressure on the main contractors — BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica. The new output level is not even the minimum sustainment rate for Eurofighter, so a further change may be possible to stretch the life of the line, if that is required. The current backlog is for 268 aircraft, with 286 delivered.
ar99, Typhoon, tacair
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