In recent years the UK defence industry has provided over £4bn ($6bn) worth of equipment to the front line through urgent operational requirements (UORs), according to the AeroSpace, Defence and Security (ADS) trade organisation’s Industries manifesto.
The manifesto launched in the build up to this year’s general election said that the UK defence industry, which represents 10% of UK manufacturing, is top in Europe and second only to the US globally, generating £35bn ($52.5bn) a year to the UK economy.
ADS chairman Ian Godden said reform of defence procurement was a vital immediate priority alongside the forthcoming Strategic Defence Review and refresh of the Defence Industrial Strategy that should go with it.
“Our manifesto seeks to demonstrate to the next government that our industry is not making demands of politicians but is instead promoting what the industry can achieve,” he said.
“We offer a route out of recession and excellent returns on initial investment, not to mention our main function, which is to provide the best possible equipment for our armed forces.”
According to a study by Oxford Economics, an investment of £100m ($150.1m) in defence would deliver an output of £227m ($340.7m).
Defence exports provide, on average, £5bn ($7.5bn) to the UK economy every year as the overseas demand for UK-made military equipment is increasing.
To build on this success, the ADS is seeking commitments from the government for a clear strategy in the forthcoming defence reviews, and increasing investment in research and technology, shorter time from the lab to front line, creating more efficient industry partnerships and greater support for defence exports.