Twitter Facebook Google RSS
 
Business & Industry News 

BAE Avoids Plant Shut Down … For Now 

10  2,013 

By Valerie Insinna 


M2A3 Bradley

BAE Systems has been fighting to keep its York, Pa.-facility open after the Army announced plans to halt work on the Bradley family of fighting vehicles from 2014 to 2017. The company has been somewhat successful in reducing the time the assembly line would be shut down, with work at the facility planned to continue through mid-2015.

“We continue to work with the Army, and I think that they are beginning to understand some of our concerns. The challenge is, we’re trying to turn off and then turn on a major manufacturing and supply base,” said Mark Signorelli, the company’s vice president and general manager for armored combat systems.

BAE originally was contracted to deliver reset vehicles through the first half of 2014. The company was able to extend that delivery schedule through an agreement with the Army, Signorelli told National Defense at a media day in Sterling Heights, Mich.  In 2015, BAE will convert M3 Bradley cavalry fighting vehicles to M2 configurations, which increases the number of soldiers it can carry from four to seven.

Signorelli believes there may be more opportunities to meet existing Army requirements in a way that would keep the York plant from shutting down, such as converting additional M3s or upgrading other vehicles in the Bradley family, which includes the M88 recovery vehicle, the M109 family of vehicles, the Paladin integrated management howitzer and the M113 personnel carrier.

Possible sales to Iraq and Saudi Arabia could also keep the production line hot. Iraq is considering buying up to 200 vehicles. Saudi Arabia, which is the only foreign country with Bradleys, is considering doubling its 400-vehicle fleet.

Decisions from Iraq and Saudi Arabia could come as early as 2014 and 2015, respectively, Signorelli said. “Realistically, those sales won’t really start to impact the base until ‘16. So there’s a six- to 12-month period in there where we’re really concerned about ... are there opportunities to fill this” gap?

Although BAE has mitigated the major risks to the industrial base in 2014, layoffs at the company are unavoidable, and company leadership will have to consider shutting down some facilities, Signorelli said.

“We have already slowed down the procurement and manufacturing process, and the unfortunate thing is that it hits your supply chain first,” he said. “Typically six to 12 months in advance of the time that we start to see the impacts in our facilities, it has already hit the supply chain.”

Signorelli would not comment on how many workers could be affected by the closure of the plant. BAE estimates the Bradley industrial base is made up of 586 small, medium and large businesses that employ 7,000 people across 44 states and Washington, D.C.

A week after the media day, BAE announced the closure of one of the sites that make up the Bradley industrial base — its Fayette facility in Lemont Fernace, Pa. All employees will be either laid off or relocated to another facility by the end of the year, the news release said.
The Fayette plant employs 78 full-time workers and 35 contractors, said a report by ABC 27 WHTM in Harrisburg, Pa.

Photo Credit: Army
Submit Your Reader's Comment Below
*Name
 
*eMail
 
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
*Comments
 
 
Refresh
Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.
*Characters
  
*Legal Notice

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.

 
 
  Bookmark and Share