Management of Defence - The UK Defence Industry - Major Contractors Listing - Armed Forces




Despite uncertainties over future defence strategy and pressure on defence spending, the United Kingdom's Defence Industry has proved to be a remarkably resilient and successful element of our national manufacturing base.

Despite the rationalisation which is still taking place within the defence sector it is generally accepted that defence employment still provides a significant element of the broader UK economy via salaries paid throughout the supply chain.

Historically, the UK Defence Industry has possessed the capability and competence to provide a wide range of advanced systems and equipment to support our own Armed Forces. This capability, matched with their competitiveness, has enabled UK companies to command a sizeable share of those overseas markets for which export licence approvals are available. At home, UK industry has consistently provided some 75% by value of the equipment requirements of The Ministry of Defence. In simple terms, in recent years UK industry has supplied 9 - 10 billion worth of goods and services for our Armed Forces annually while a further 2 - 4 billion worth of business has accrued to the UK defence industry from sales to approved overseas customers.

The United Kingdom's Defence Companies are justifiably proud of their record in recent years in the face of fierce overseas competition. Reductions in the UK's Armed Forces and the heavy demands on our remaining Service personnel, who face an unpredictable international security environment, make it inevitable that considerable reliance will be placed upon the support and surge capacity offered by our comprehensive indigenous defence industrial base. Without this effective industrial base, the ability of UK to exert independence of action or influence over collective security arrangements would be constrained. It is essential that government policies ensure that industry retains the necessary capabilities to support our forces in a changing world.

As importantly, the defence industry is not only a major employer but it is also the generator of high technology that is readily adaptable to civilian use in fields such as avionics and engine technology. The future of the UK's defence industry will almost certainly have to be property planned if it to remain an efficient and essential national support organisation in times of crisis.

A look at MoD payments to contractors during FY 2007-2008 identifies some of the larger manufacturers.


Over 500 million

Babcock International Group PLC
Finmeccanica SpA
BAE Systems PLC
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Thales SA
QinetiQ Group PLC
Hewlett Packard Company
Rolls-Royce Group PLC

250 - 500 million

Aspire Defence Holdings
BT Group PLC
General Dynamics Corporation
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc
Man SE
Serco Group PLC
VT Group PLC

100 - 250 million

3I Group PLC
The Boeing Company
Turner & Co (Glasgow) Ltd
Sodexo SA
Scottish & Southern Energy PLC
Morgan Crucible Company PLC
Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd
Lend Lease Group
Supreme Group Holdings Sarl
Carillion PLC
Interserve PLC
Le Grand Annington Ltd

Note: Payments to the companies listed may include payments made to subsidiaries or contractors.