ADS supports the defence sector’s contribution to the UK’s economic health by shaping the market, generating business development and providing networking opportunities in support of our UK member companies.

Through our ongoing work to promote a UK Industrial Strategy, ADS supports and works with the UK MOD, the Home Office, the FCO, DIT DSO and the Security Services, helping Member companies to grow and export. The defence team also provide a number of specialist services such as advice on export licensing, commercial issues, offsets, international trafficking in arms regulations and the EU Defence & Security Directive.

Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015

The UK defence industry has a vital role to play in safeguarding national security, generating economic prosperity, promoting stability overseas, and responding effectively to crises. The 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS) and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) set out the Government’s vision for “a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and influence”. ADS welcomed the SDSR as a well-conceived and pragmatic response to the new and challenging threats to UK national security. In particular, the focus on innovation, support for exports and SMEs, and a refresh of the 2012 industrial policy are extremely welcome. Working with industry, ADS has identified the following issues as priorities for the implementation of the SDSR:

Industry will be looking to work with the government as it seeks to recalibrate its existing defence industrial policy and, specifically, ensure that any definition of ‘value for money’ incorporates a broader understanding of the contribution Defence makes to the economy. Similarly, industry hope to be able to input into government plans to deliver new strategies relating to counter-terrorism, innovation and shipbuilding.
Industry will be looking to support the establishment of a new government-to-government export team within the UKTI DSO, as well as seeking to build upon wider departmental relationships. With such a depth of knowledge and wealth of experience in exporting, industry can add real value to government thinking as departments determine how exportability can be better incorporated into procurement decisions. Industry also wish to better understand what role the MOD will play in delivering exports now that this has become a core task.
SDSR 2015 outlined a number of new innovation initiatives, such as the Defence and Cyber Innovation Fund, Emerging Technology and Innovation Analysis Cell and the Defence and Security Accelerator. In order to maximise effectiveness and avoid duplication, it is important that these new ventures complement the work of existing initiatives, such as the UK Defence Solutions Centre and the Security Innovation and Demonstration Centre.
Industry will be contributing to the Government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’, engaging with the Supply Chain Champion in the MOD, and working through the Growth Partnerships to make it easier for SMEs to bid for defence and security contracts. Helping to ensure the transparency of future procurement requirements and working to simplify procurement processes will be crucial to this.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

ADS operates a number of groups to support specialist business development requirements of its members. These are open to all members to join. Some of the areas covered include:

Policy Work

The policy team works with the government to shape the political, economic and business environment within which our Members operate. For the defence sector, working with the government also influences capability requirements and leads to business opportunities.

Learn more


ADS has dedicated resource looking at markets and opportunities across the world. This information can be accessed in The Business Development Centre (BDC) in our Members Area.

Members Area


Contact us to find out more about any of the areas that you may be interested in.