UPDATE 3-British defence contractor Chemring CEO Papworth steps down
* Army veteran Michael Flowers to replace Mark Papworth
* H1 underlying pretax profit falls 29 pct
* Shares fall as much as 12.5 pct, top loser on LSE (Adds analyst comment; updates share movement)
By Aashika Jain
June 24 (Reuters) - Chemring Group Plc's chief executive, Mark Papworth, who was tasked with turning around the troubled defence contractor, has stepped down less than two years into the job.
Shares in the company, which makes ejector seats for fighter jets and flares used to counter heat-seeking missiles, fell as much as 12.5 percent, making the stock the top loser on the London Stock Exchange.
Chemring, once a blue-chip company, has been reeling under defence budget cuts in the United States, its largest market, in the past few years.
The company did not say why Papworth, under whose tenure the stock lost more than a third of its value, was leaving.
Chemring said Michael Flowers, who served in the Australian army for 22 years and is a member of the company's executive committee, would replace Papworth. Continuación...