The European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) Company has outlined plans to cut 5,800 positions at Airbus DS and in corporate operations by the end of 2016.

As part of EADS’s restructuring programme for its future Airbus Defence and Space Division (Airbus DS), the plan was submitted to the European Works Council.

As part of the process, some 1,500 positions will be offered at Airbus and Eurocopter for the redeployment of the affected staff.

The final redundancies would be up to 1,450 employees, following non-renewal of temporary contracts of around 1,300, and application of additional voluntary measures.

"We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space, and we need to do it now."

EADS CEO Tom Enders said: "We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space, and we need to do it now.

"With our traditional markets down, we urgently need to improve access to international customers, to growth markets.

"For that to work, we need to cut costs, eliminate product and resource overlaps, create synergies in our operations and product portfolio and better focus our Research and Development efforts."

EADS noted that it would negotiate with its works councils to seek agreements on labour cost reductions and is currently working to find the required social measures and solutions for all impacted employees.

Consultation process with the works councils is expected to be concluded by mid-2014, when the three entities, Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian, will be fully integrated and operational at all levels as Airbus DS.

The restructuring effort comes on the heels of a decision to consolidate EADS’s defence and space businesses into one new division and to rebrand the group into ‘Airbus Group’.

This process would lead to consolidation of sites across Germany, France, Spain and the UK.

As of 1 January 2014, the new division will begin operating at executive level.

Defence Technology