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LONDON (AP) - Rolls-Royce said Tuesday it is planning to reduce its defense operations at one of its British plants- a move that a union said would result in the loss of some 400 jobs.

The plant at Ansty, near Coventry, employs about 800 people and handles the refit and repair of airplane and marine engines. The company said that its civil aerospace business at the factory will not be affected.

Britain's largest trade union, Unite, said staff was informed of the company's plans Tuesday. It claimed that the closure is proposed to take place in the next few years, and blamed the British government's cuts to the national defense budget for the decision.

Rolls-Royce said in a statement that it hoped to make the changes "without compulsory redundancies."

It did not elaborate on the decision but said: "In a large and complex company, there is a constant need to align resources and costumer demand."

The firm employs 22,000 people in Britain.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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