BAE to start production on the Royal Navy’s Type 26 global combat ship next year
BAE Systems is one of the largest suppliers to the US Department of Defense Reuters

Defence giant BAE Systems is planning to axe more than 1,000 of its workers in the UK this week amid a slowdown in production of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, according to reports.

Sky News said many of the job cuts will affect the company's Warton plant in Preston, Lancashire, with new chief executive Charles Woodburn also "trimming" its workforce in other locations.

The redundancies are expected to be made public on 10 October, but Sky added the announcement could come as early as 9 October as a result of the early disclosure.

Sources told the broadcaster that Brexit was "not a factor" in the decision.

Woodburn, who took over from Ian King as BAE's CEO in the summer, said in August that the company was reviewing its output of Typhoon aircraft.

The final four aircraft from an earlier contract with Saudi Arabia was delivered in the first half of the financial year, although BAE did secure an order to build 24 Typhoon fighter aircraft for Qatar at a price of around £90m ($120m) per plane last month.

The Typhoon's participation in any future European fighter programme is in doubt, after France and Germany announced plans in July to jointly develop a new European fighter jet — a move that was widely seen as a snub to the UK due to Brexit.

Over a third of the 34,500 employed by BAE in Britain work on the Typhoon jets, with final assembly done at the Warton plant.

"BAE Systems continually reviews its operations to make sure we are performing as effectively and efficiently as possible, delivering our commitments to existing customers and ensuring we are best placed to secure future business," BAE told Sky in a statement.

"If and when there are any changes proposed we are committed to communicating with our employees and their representatives first."

BAE's share price was broadly unchanged during early trading in London.