A|D|S is the trade organisation advancing UK Aerospace, Defence, Space and Security industries. Farnborough International Limited (FIL), which runs the Airshow, is a wholly-owned subsidiary. A|D|S has offices in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France and India with new offices planned in China and the Middle East. We are the national organisation representing the huge number of successful SMEs in these sectors.
A|D|S was formed from the merger of the Association of Police and Public Security Suppliers (APPSS), the Defence Manufacturers Association (DMA) and the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) in October 2009. A|D|S also encompasses the British Aviation Group (BAG).
The UK defence industry represents ten per cent of UK manufacturing, is number one in Europe and second only to the US globally, employing over 300,000 people and generating over £35 billion per year to the UK economy. The industry also works hand-in-hand with the UK Armed Forces from factory to frontline, for example over 4,000 industry personnel are currently working with our troops in Afghanistan.
Each year defence exports provide on average £5bn to the UK economy and it is the largest overseas supplier of defence equipment to the United States. The demand from overseas for British-made equipment – from fast jets to helicopters and electronic systems to personal kit for individual troops – is high because of its quality and provenance. Its use by UK forces in recent campaigns also provides confidence to export customers. Defence exports offer the UK a route out of recession and excellent returns on initial investment.
The UK has had a 21 per cent share of the defence export market in the last five years and defence exports support 65,000 UK jobs. Defence in the UK is responsible for 40 per cent of defence R&D in Europe and contributed £12bn in value added to the UK economy in 2008 – up 15 per cent since 2006. The defence industry in the UK submitted more than twice the number of patents applications compared to the pharmaceutical sector between 2007-10.
The major challenges for the industry are:
- To work closely with the Government on the Strategic Defence Review;
- To assist with the reform of the procurement process;
- To encourage the reversal of a decline in research and technology spending;
- To increase the exportability of UK equipment and services.
The UK security industry comprises 8,000 companies and ‘UK Security’ employs around 600,000 people. The innovation and high-technology products and services that the sector produces deliver security to the UK population and bring rising economic benefits through the successful export of our world-leading equipment overseas.
Security is the hidden hand that keeps us safe. Innovative UK-based security companies provide the capability for UK Government departments to deliver for the whole British population as well as for their counterparts overseas to do the same for their countries. An example of our excellence in overseas markets is that UK companies supply over 60 per cent of airport security systems to the US Government’s Transport Security Administration. Figures issued recently by UKTI DSO suggest that despite the recession the UK security industry’s exports were valued at £1.36 billion last year and that this was an increase of more than 14 per cent on previous years. Our challenge is to increase the UK’s role in these global markets, starting from its already creditable 6 per cent global market share and promoting our capability to global customers.
Aerospace is an attractive growth sector in which the UK can continue its winning ways. The UK is number one in Europe and number two in the world behind only the US in a market growing at twice the rate of GDP. It employs over 100,000 people and generates £20 billion per year to the UK economy. The UK also has vibrant academic institutions that underpin our knowledge and skills.
The UK has set its sights on:
- Playing a major role in the design and manufacture of the new short range aircraft in 2020-2025;
- Continuing to be a world leading technological centre in the design and manufacture of aero engines and wings;
- Retaining its aerodynamic skill base in both fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft;
- Investing in commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and pioneering their use by society;
- Investing in the next generation of lightweight materials and their application in this industry.