From technology and exports, to apprenticeships and investment, the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors are vital to the UK’s growth.

ADS members are the custodians of a world-leading advanced engineering and services workforce, fuelling UK prosperity and provide more than 417,000 jobs to the UK each year.


The UK aerospace sector is a hub for advanced manufacturing, generating well-paid jobs across the country and driving decarbonisation through innovation.

  • Average annual earnings of £44,000, 23% higher than the UK average
  • 90% of UK aerospace jobs are located outside London and the South East
  • Productivity 56% higher than the economy average

We work with our aerospace members to ensure they maximise the opportunities that are available as a result of the unprecedented global growth in the aerospace market over the coming years and decades.

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The UK is the second largest defence exporter in the world, which helps deliver the equipment and services our armed forces and security services need to safeguard national security and contributes to the UK’s economic prosperity.

  • The UK is the second largest defence spender in NATO
  • Average annual earnings of higher than the UK average
  • 70% of defence sector jobs are located outside London & South East

We focus on supporting our defence members on a range of activities by shaping the market and generating business opportunities to enable members’ growth.

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Security and Resilience

The UK’s security and resilience sector is responding to a range of malicious and non-malicious threats, providing advanced physical and digital capabilities to keep the UK safe. ADS is the only national trade association that represents the breadth of the security sector.

  • Average annual earning of £38,600, 16% higher than the UK average
  • 55% of security and resilience sector jobs located outside of London and the South East
  • In 2021, the UK retained its status as the third largest exporter of global security exports

We support security members in their business development at home and abroad, create a forum in which members can engage with government and provide industrial input and expertise to government policies and initiatives.

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The UK space sector is a world leader in the production of small satellites with wide applications to help monitor the world around us.

  • £143,000 output per worker. Sector productivity 121% higher than whole economy average
  • 1,590 UK Space organisations recorded in the last reporting period
  • £788m R&D expenditure in 2020/21
  • All of the UK’s regions and nations are home to headquarters of space organisations

The ADS Space sector team is committed to supporting the sector by understanding our members’ objectives and challenges, in turn generating relevant new business development opportunities and developing a programme of activities in the form of briefings, networking events and a presence at international events to meet these objectives.

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What our members say

I have worked with ADS throughout my career and they have always provided a route to market and an opportunity both to meet new and existing customers and also to influence the key stakeholders in my industry. The value of the collective voice of the members as championed by ADS is significant and both my company and I personally have developed and seen increased success owing to the opportunities ADS membership provides.
Luke Bonnett – Senior Business Manager, Frazer-Nash Consultancy
At OCR International we have found the services of ADS and its team to be of great value in helping us expand our business reach to engage with new opportunities. There are multiple opportunities for this ranging from networking events, speaking opportunities, exhibitions and joining and participating with special interest groups. We would recommend membership of ADS as a vibrant and forward thinking community for anyone involved in the Defence, Aerospace or Security sectors.
Simon Heath, Director of Sales from OCR
As an ADS member, I am able to attend many diverse events, spread geographically across the UK. These present amazing opportunities to connect, collaborate and even to sell. The Special Interest Groups allow me to focus in on specific sectors, markets and opportunities too.
Steven Borwell, Managing Director, KOIOS Group
ADS provide our company with industry insights about the most important subjects that affect our business. Many of our team are influencing the future by joining ADS boards discussing important sector topics. ADS provides premium access to the most appropriate industry shows and events. The presence that ADS has increases the impact we could make alone.
Anthony Hammond. Divisional Managing Director, Hyde Aero Group
ALTEN's leadership in engineering and IT services has been greatly enhanced through our partnership with ADS Group. Their support has streamlined our security vetting process, enabling seamless global collaborations. The Meet the Buyer events have offered us invaluable visibility, strategic connections, and a multitude of business opportunities.
Testimonial from Alten Ltd