The importance of the UK defence sector continues to grow as global threats and volatility increases.

The defence sector directly employs 147,500 people in the UK, delivering high value jobs for a highly skilled workforce, including 6,900 apprentices. Turnover for the sector reached £22.8 billion in 2022.

The UK remains the second largest defence exporter globally, and the largest defence exporter in Europe, exporting £7.4 billion worth of products on a three-year average. In addition, value add to the UK economy reached £9.8 billion.

As we look ahead to the future, there are plenty of business opportunities for UK organisations ranging from developing the latest technologies and capabilities used in the Global Combat Air Programme, and AUKUS or the stockpiling and strengthening of UK supply chains while learning lessons from the war in Ukraine.

A strong partnership between industry and Government ensures defence and national security remains a priority. This is reflected in recent refreshed strategies including the Integrated Review Refresh and the Defence Command Paper Refresh as well as strategies aimed at contributing to the UK’s net zero ambition through the Defence Aviation Net Zero Strategy.

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