The firm, which makes engines for planes, said the reduction of nearly a fifth of its workforce would mainly affect its civil aerospace division.
"This is not a crisis of our making. But it is the crisis that we face and must deal with," boss Warren East said. The bulk of the job cuts are expected to be in the UK. Rolls-Royce employs 52,000 people globally and Mr East told the BBC's Today programme the company had not yet concluded on "exactly" where the job losses would be, due to having to consult with unions.