Facts & Figures 2021

The UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space industries make a significant and valuable contribution to economic prosperity and national security.

The annual ADS Industry Facts and Figures guide shows the extent to which companies in our sectors generate well-paid jobs, high-tech exports and vital investment in every region and nation of the country.

In 2020, the UK aerospace, defence, security and space sectors’ contribution to the UK was:



As the national trade association for the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, ADS works to promote and support their interests both at home and abroad. Spanning the length and breadth of the UK, ADS has more than 1,100+ member companies which includes over 1,000 SMEs.

Supporting 1,000,000 jobs across the country, our sectors offer opportunities and are vital to the UK’s future as a high-tech, high-skill, high-wage economy and the ambitions of a Global Britain.

Government and industry ensuring UK growth, investment and recovery

  • A strong recovery in our industries will support the UK to build back better from the impact of Covid-19 on jobs, investment and industrial capability
  • To meet the UK’s net zero ambitions by 2050 our industries are committed to developing and manufacturing advanced green technology
  • Building on the relationship agreed between the UK and EU to deliver global trading arrangements that support high value exports and growth
  • Boosting the diversity of our industries to secure opportunities for all, provide the highest quality pipeline of new talent and invest in apprenticeships
  • Supporting Government to implement the Integrated Review, Defence & Security Industrial Strategy and the Defence Command Paper, creating new opportunities for SMEs
The UK’s aerospace sector is developing world-leading aircraft technology, generating highly skilled employment and prosperity in every part of the country.

Sources: ONS,BEIS, ADS Industrial Trends Survey 2020

The UK is the second largest defence exporter in the world, which delivers the equipment and support our armed forces and security services need to safeguard national security.

Sources: ONS, DIT, Oxford Economics, ADS Industrial Trends Survey 2020

The UK’s security and resilience sector provides solutions to major national challenges, from cyber security to the threat of terrorism and all other aspects of national security.

Sources: ONS, Oxford Economics, UK Government, Grand View Research, Inc. and ADS Industrial Trends Survey 2020

The UK space sector is a world leader in the production of small satellites with wide applications to help monitor the world around us. Space launch from the UK is fast becoming a reality with plans on track for a first rocket launch in 2022.

Sources: UK Space Agency, ADS Industrial Trends Survey 2020

View also our Facts and Figures for the regions:

Scotland – Facts & Figures 2021

Northern Ireland – Facts & Figures 2021

View full publication for the ADS Facts & Figures 2021 below:

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