Several defence repair sites are to close with the loss of up to 2,000 jobs, the government has announced.
Armed forces minister Adam Ingram told the Commons it was "with great regret" he delivered the news, but that it was necessary for the modernisation of the armed forces to make them "fit for the 21st century".
"We will help to find those involved alternative employment and we will make every effort to use natural turnover and voluntary redundancy. However, a significant number of compulsory redundancies can be expected," he said.
But Peter Allenson, national officer of the Transport and General Worker's Union (T&G), described the cuts as a "betrayal" to skilled workers, and criticised the government for embarking on a "mad dash" to the private sector.
Repair sites in England, Wales and Scotland will all be affected.