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Defense industry in the UK - Statistics & Facts

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) was the most important customer for many defense suppliers based in the United Kingdom. The security technology company QinetiQ Group was the most reliant on business with the government, generating 60.3 percent of their revenue through sales to the MOD. Babcock International followed closely, at 50.2 percent of their 4.8 billion British pounds revenue for 2019/20.

Indices for weapons and ammunition manufacturing show that costs have steadily increased in the past seven years. Figures rose to 121.3 in 2019, compared to the base year 2010, proving that production has become more expensive in recent years. Nevertheless, the value of exports from the air defense sector specifically, nearly doubled between 2014 and 2018 and reached 12.3 billion British pounds.

In 2018, the UK spent around 909 U.S. dollars per capita on national defense, which was noticeably more than its European allies France or Germany, but less than half of expenditure reported by the U.S. Military defense was the most common type of security spending by the UK public sector, at some 37.9 billion British pounds in 2019. By comparison, foreign military aid had cost the public sector 696 million British pounds.

In terms of weapons and ammunition trade, in the first half of 2020, 296 million British pounds worth of such items were imported into the country, slightly less than in the same period the previous year. Cartridges and other ammunition sales by UK manufacturers amounted to 79.3 million British pounds in 2019, with figures oscillating between 51 and 79 million British pounds in the last years.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Defense industry in the UK".


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