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BAE SAYS 100 WORKERS MAY BE CUT AEROSPACE FIRM WINDING UP KC-135 MODIFICATION PROJECT.

Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer

MOJAVE - BAE Systems announced Wednesday it may have to lay off 80 to 100 workers at its Mojave Airport facility by September if the company does not receive any additional contracts this summer.

The pending layoffs are the result of work winding down on a program to modernize the cockpits of KC-135 tanker aircraft. The contract, which began in spring 1999, will be completed in September.

Workers at the facility have been notified of the pending layoffs.

``Any worker laid off will receive a severance package and job placement assistance,'' said company spokeswoman Dale Avery.

It is possible the company might be able to avoid some or even all of the layoffs if BAE Systems is awarded additional work. The company is waiting to hear on contracts on a couple of undisclosed projects.

Under the $50 million Pacer CRAG (Compass, Radar and Global positioning satellite) contract, BAE Systems modified 279 KC-135 tankers for the Air Force. Workers in Mojave replaced dials and other cockpit indicators with multifunctional displays and new electronic controls.

The modifications are intended to extend the life of the aircraft, enhance safety and eliminate the need for a navigator.

Pacer CRAG is one of the major contracts BAE Systems works under at Mojave. The company also converts Vietnam-era F-4 jet fighters into target drones.

BAE Systems has a work force of about 350 workers in Mojave.

In March, BAE Systems announced it was cutting 34 jobs at its Palmdale plant, citing the slowdown in commercial aviation contracts in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The job cuts reduced the Palmdale work force by half.

The Palmdale plant, at Avenue P and 30th Street East, is used in support of Boeing's twin-engine 717 jetliner, which is assembled in Long Beach.

BAE Systems assembles the wing halves and Y-barrel assemblies of the 717 aircraft. The Y-barrel assembly is the lower part of the fuselage and houses the main landing gear, as well as fuel, hydraulic and electrical lines.

BAE Systems, formed by the merger of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems in 1999, is a global aerospace giant, employing more than 100,000 workers around the world. The company has annual sales of $19 billion.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 4, 2002
Words:373
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