ADS has launched its 2017 Defence and Security Outlook Reports. Following another prosperous year, these reports illustrate the unique contribution the UK’s defence and security sectors make to national life, delivering economic prosperity as well as protecting national security. Together the two sectors directly employ more than 240,000 people in the UK, with a combined turnover of £35bn and securing export orders worth more than £10bn. Sector highlights include:


  • Directly employed 142,000 people in 2016, including 4,300 apprentices.
  • The UK is the world’s second largest defence exporter over the last 10 years, and the fifth largest security sector exporter in 2016.
  • Defence industry productivity has risen seven times faster than in the rest of the UK economy since 2010, with 23 per cent growth compared to an economy-wide figure of 3 per cent.
  • Six out of 10 companies in the defence sector expect growth as a result of rising export opportunities in the next 12 months.


  • Directly employed 99,600 people in 2016, including 2,800 apprentices.
  • The UK security sector grew by 17 per cent last year alone, and has seen its turnover double in the last five years.
  • Almost three quarters of UK companies in the sector are expecting growth of at least 10 per cent the next 12 months, driven by opportunities both at home and in export markets – especially Europe, North America and the Middle East.
  • In 2016, security export sales in the UK were worth £4.3bn, with cyber security accounting for more than one third of this total.

With Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) fast-approaching, companies are preparing to showcase the very best of Britain’s defence and security offering. Next week will also see the official launch of Team UK, bringing together the best of UK expertise from Government, industry and academia. Team UK will work with our international partners to provide optimum defence solutions that meet their requirements.

The UK’s defence and security sectors are a national success story, boasting rapidly rising productivity and confidence in future growth prospects. As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is important that the Government continues to work closely with businesses and through the growth partnerships to ensure a robust industrial strategy is in place for the defence and security sectors. This will help ensure the UK defence and security industry can continue to grow, innovate and succeed in an increasingly competitive global market.