European aerospace giant EADS is slashing 450 jobs in the UK as Germany, France, and Spain bear the brunt of the 5,800 reduction in headcount.

According to an EADS statement, the restructuring will affect 2,000 jobs in Germany, 1,260 in France, and 450 in Spain.

"We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space - and we need to do it now", said Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of EADS.

"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. That's what the restructuring and integration plan for our defence and space business is all about."

EADS is made up of four divisions - Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter. The company recently announced a streamlining at its complex corporate structure in order to bring efficiency to its functions and save costs.

The new structure will combine EADS' defence and space operations into the new Airbus Defence and Space division. The other divisions will be Airbus and Airbus Eurocopter. The entire group will be rebranded as Airbus Group.

People familiar with the discussions told Wall Street Journal that the company's top executives will meet with its labour representatives on 9 December to discuss its restructuring. EADS will detail about its restructuring and its financial impact at the annual meeting with investors on 11 December in London.

The restructuring was widely expected to include job cuts and sale of office buildings.

In November, more than 20,000 EADS employees in Germany staged a protest against the company in anticipation of job cuts.