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.


ADS supports and works with the UK MOD, the Home Office, the FCO, DIT UK Defence and Security Exports 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.

Priority initiatives

Our defence priorities include working with Government to ensure the UK Defence industry can maximise its contribution to national security and economic prosperity. 

  • Defence and the EU: Working with government to ensure the UK has access to a future European Defence Research programme, retains membership of the European Defence Agency and seeks to strengthen and deepen its relationships with international allies as we prepare to leave the EU. 
  • Defence Industrial Policy: Advocating for a wider definition of value for money and a systematic approach to pre-competitive engagement in the defence acquisition process. 
  • Defence Transformation: Ensuring that the implementation of the Modernising Defence Programme maximises the contribution of the UK’s defence industry to the mutually reinforcing objectives of safeguarding national security and generating economic prosperity. 
  • Promoting the Defence Growth Partnership: Working to support the DGP as it seeks to grow the UK’s global market share through increased exports, foster greater collaboration and innovation across the sector, and improve competitiveness through the whole value chain. 
  • Strengthening the UK Defence Exports: Working across government to identify and resolve barriers to defence and security exports, promote a ‘Team UK’ approach to exports and ensure exportability is a key consideration in the defence procurement process. 
  • Supporting SMEs: Promoting the interests of SMEs and working to ensure government commercial policies encourage SMEs to do business with the MOD. 

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.

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We facilitate the showcasing of defence capabilities by co-ordinating UK Pavilions at key global Defence trade shows and exhibitions. Many of these are hosted in partnership with UK Government. We also offer hospitality services and exhibiting opportunities at the biennial Farnborough International Airshow.

Training courses and workshops provide specialised and up to date knowledge on topics such as Ministry of Defence contracting frameworks, exporting regulations and procurement programmes. Webinars, conferences and briefings focus on market access and business development opportunities.

We partner with the Royal Navy and Army HQ on a number of symposia to provide industry updates on requirements and programmes.

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Business Development

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

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