The UK defence sector added £9.8bn to the UK economy in 2022, according to an ADS Group analysis timed to coincide with the start of DSEI.

The group’s Defence Sector Outlook showed turnover from defence organisations reached £22.8bn last year, while £7.4bn of products and services were exported by the sector.

The UK position is the largest defence exporter in Europe, and the second largest defence exporter in the world.

UK defence sector

“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,” said Kevin Craven, CEO of ADS.

“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 issues of the sector, such as access to finance do not hamper progress.”

Following the refresh of several government strategies including the Integrated Review Refresh and the Defence Command Paper, the ADS publication highlights numerous policy priorities and business opportunities for businesses in the sector.

Contribution to the economy

“The defence sector makes a vital contribution to the UK economy which is undoubtedly important across the range of defence applications that the UK leads on, including the protection of land, sea, and air. As we learn lessons from the war on Ukraine, the UK must ensure it deliveries on our national security priorities.” said Aimie Stone, chief economist at ADS Group.

The publication further highlights that defence organisations are present in every region of the UK, and the sector delivers high value, skilled and wage jobs with 70 per cent of jobs outside London and the South East and wages being 12 per cent higher than the UK average with an average salary of £37.4K per person.
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