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November 10, 2011

BAE Systems to close area manufacturing plant

BAE Systems plans to close to close its 223,000 square-foot manufacturing site in Irving beginning early next year, a move whi9ch will result in the loss of 160 jobs.

The action follows a move in March 2009 to shift most of the commercial aircraft products work done at the plant to Fort Wayne, Ind. and Mexico, which resulted in the loss of 500 area jobs.

The Irving plant closing is being made to increase efficiency and lower costs, said Bob Hoffman, director of operations for BAE.  "The things that's driving this is market conditions and customers looking for lower costs."

The work will be moved to Fort Wayne, where Hoffman said BAE has surplus manufacturing capacity. The transfer of work and equoipment should begin in February and be complete by July.

Some employees will likely receive offers to move to Fort Wayne or to other BAE operations, Hoffman said. Those that lose jobs as a result of the move will receive severance packages of four to 24 weeks pay depending on their position and whether they are covered by a union contract.

BAE, which is headquartered in England, is a global defense and aerospace contractor with major U.S. operations. It is a major supplier to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program with, at times, hundreds of people working in fort Worth.

The Irving site manufactures commercial aircraft electronics, primarily for Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft. It also repair and warranty support for systems used on all Boeing aircraft, including the the McDonnell Douglas aircraft.

- Bob Cox

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