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LMUK to cut jobs following WCSP cancellation

Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK) has announced this will cut up to 158 jobs at its Ampthill facility: a move it attributed to the United Kingdom’s decision to cancel the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP).

The eliminations from the 900-strong workforce at the site, which form part of the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business, were announced on 12 April.

This decision followed the March publication of the UK’s Integrated Review and Defence Command Papers, which confirmed the termination of the WCSP. The objective had been to upgrade the existing Warrior infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and extend its service life to about 2040. The platform will now go out of service around the middle of this decade.

LMUK said that the Ampthill, Bedfordshire, site will continue to support the British Army’s Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle family, as well as programmes in the classified special projects and mission support areas of the business.

Threats to the WCSP had been foreseen prior to the publication of the Integrated Review and its associated papers.

The programme director for the WCSP, Keren Wilkins, told journalists in February that the company knew the programme to be at risk. Wilkins also indicated that if a contract was not awarded, decisions would have to be made about the future scale of the Ampthill facility.

In 2018 a report by the UK Infrastructure and Projects Authority downgraded the WCSP from amber/red – ’successful delivery of the project is in doubt’ – to red or ’unachievable’. However, this was mostly based upon the challenges faced with the demonstration and trials phase: issues that had largely been addressed by the LMUK team in the interim period.

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