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UK Defence Sector Contributes £9.8 Billion to Economy, Affirms Global Export Dominance

by Anna

The United Kingdom’s defence sector made a substantial contribution to the national economy in 2022, adding £9.8 billion in value while generating a turnover of £22.8 billion, as reported by the ADS Group, the trade organization representing the aerospace, defence, security, and space sectors.

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As the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event unfolds in London this week, the Defence Sector Outlook from ADS Group underscores the sector’s achievements, including the export of £7.4 billion worth of products and services. This accomplishment solidifies the UK’s status as the largest defence exporter in Europe and the second-largest defence exporter globally.

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Kevin Craven, CEO of ADS Group, highlighted the multifaceted role of the UK’s defence sector, stating, “The UK’s defence sector is crucial to protecting the freedoms we value in our society, all while providing high-value jobs, unlocking new capabilities, and expanding an advanced manufacturing workforce.”

Craven continued, “ADS continues to work closely with our colleagues in the sector, political stakeholders, and industry partners to ensure that UK defence remains a key industrial focus for UK innovation and manufacturing and that issues such as access to finance do not impede progress.”

The Defence Sector Outlook takes note of several key developments in UK defence policy, including the Integrated Review Refresh and the Defence Command Paper, which have refreshed the nation’s defence strategies. These policy changes offer numerous business opportunities for companies operating in the sector.

Aimie Stone, Chief Economist at ADS Group, emphasized the importance of the UK’s defence sector, particularly in light of global events such as the conflict in Ukraine. She stated, “The defence sector makes a vital contribution to the UK economy, especially in the various defence applications where the UK leads, including land, sea, and air protection. As we learn lessons from the war in Ukraine, the UK must ensure it delivers on our national security priorities.”

The publication also highlights the geographical reach and economic impact of the defence sector in the UK. Defence organizations are spread across all regions of the country, providing high-value, skilled jobs. Notably, 70% of these jobs are located outside of London and the South East, and the sector offers wages that are 12% higher than the UK average, with an average salary of £37.4k per person. This underscores the sector’s role in regional economic development and job creation.

The Defence Sector Outlook from ADS Group serves as a testament to the integral role played by the UK’s defence sector, both in terms of national security and economic prosperity, and highlights its global prominence as a defence industry leader.

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