LONDON (AP) -- British defense and aerospace contractor BAE Systems said Thursday it is planning to shed almost 1,300 jobs due to sharp government spending cuts.
Another 90 jobs related to programs in Saudi Arabia are also at risk.
BAE said most of the losses were related to the axing of contracts to supply Nimrod spy planes and Harrier fighter jets. Nearly half of the threatened jobs are at BAE's testing and assembly facility at Warton in northwest England.
Both moves are part of the government's drive to cut defense spending by 8 percent.
"I appreciate this is difficult news for our people and we are committed to working with employees and their representatives to explore ways of mitigating the potential job losses," said Kevin Taylor, managing director of BAE Systems Military Air Solutions.
BAE has about 40,000 employees in the United Kingdom.
The Unite union urged the government to think again about the cuts.
National officer Bernie Hamilton said the government was "denying the U.K. armed forces vital equipment to defend this nation while families across the country worry about their futures."
"Legendary planes like the Lancaster used in World War II by the Dambusters will never be built in the U.K. again," Hamilton said. "The country that gave the world the revolutionary Harrier jump jet will lose the know-how to build an aircraft like this."
BAE said it was also consulting with employee representatives about cutting 90 jobs related to Saudi Arabia because of a continuing program of promoting jobs for Saudis in defense contracts.