United Kingdom Defense Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2030)

The United Kingdom Defense Market has been segmented by Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force) and Type (Aircraft, Rotorcraft, Ground Vehicles, Naval Vessels, C4ISR, Weapons and Ammunition, and Protection and Training Equipment).

Market Snapshot

United Kingdom Defense Market Bar Graph
Study Period: 2018 -2030
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: >2.5 %

Need a report that reflects how COVID-19 has impacted this market and its growth?

Market Overview

The UK defense market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 2.5% during the forecast period (2021-2030).

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy, the government announced that it plans to increase its military budget in the coming years due to the need to enhance the capabilities of its armed forces.

The United Kingdom is one of the top countries globally in terms of defense spending, as per NATO. The country met its target of 2% of the GDP in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The government, in its recent defense budget, proposed an increase in defense spending in 2020, and it is expected to reach GBP 41.3 billion (USD 53 billion). According to the UK Ministry of Defense, the defense spending by the United Kingdom in 2019 was USD 48.65 billion, as compared to USD 49.89 billion in 2018.

The country has been increasing its defense budget and spending over the past few years to achieve NATO’s defense spending target of 2% of the total country’s GDP, which is acting as a major driver for the growth of the market.

The investments into technological advancements to enhance the lethality, precision, and range of weapons, communication range, and other support services to address new and rapidly evolving threats of the country are expected to propel the growth of the market.

Scope of the Report

The study covers all aspects and provides insights into the budget allocation and spending in the UK defense market in the past and the present, along with the forecast for the future. The market includes details about the procurement and modernization plans of the UK armed forces. Based on armed forces, the market is segmented into army, navy, and air force. Based on type, the market is segmented into aircraft, rotorcraft, ground vehicles, naval vessels, C4ISR, weapons and ammunition, and protection and training equipment. The market also includes investments into the development and launch of satellites and research and development of advanced technologies like directed energy weapons, use of composites, and advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printing, among others. The market sizing and forecasts have been provided in value (USD billion).

Armed Force
Air Force
Ground Vehicles
Naval Vessels
Weapons and Ammunition
Protection and Training Equipment

Report scope can be customized per your requirements. Click here.

Key Market Trends

The United Kingdom Plans to Increase its Investments for Naval Fleet Expansion and Modernization

Maritime security is an issue of critical importance to the United Kingdom, more so after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. Almost 95% of all UK imports and exports move by sea through over 400 British ports. The UK maritime security is complex and presents a host of challenges like the prospect of a terrorist attack at sea, the smuggling of illicit goods, threats to marine critical infrastructure, etc. This generates a need for the United Kingdom to enhance its maritime security capabilities. The United Kingdom has taken some important steps to strengthen its maritime security capacities and governance mechanisms, including the establishment of cross-governmental coordination bodies, such as the Joint Maritime Security Center. In March 2021, the government announced new plans to enhance the capabilities of the British Navy through investments for the addition of new surface ships, submarines, weapons, technologies, and missions. For instance, the Royal Navy plans to operate over 20 frigates and destroyers by the early 2030s, with plans to increase the size to 24. Furthermore, by 2022, the country plans to deploy automated and autonomous mine hunting systems as a part of GBP 1 billion (USD 1.87 billion) in mine warfare. Such robust plans are to enhance the naval capabilities of the country and will drive the market growth during the forecast period.

United Kingdom Defense Market Key Trends

The UK Defense Market is Expected to Experience a Steady Growth

The military spending of Europe accounted for almost 20% of the global military spending in 2019. Russia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom were among the top 10 military spending countries in the world in 2019. As of 2019, the country was the second-largest global defense exporter, and it had won defense orders worth almost USD 15.1 billion (GBP 11 billion). According to the UK MoD, the country’s share of the global defense export market was estimated at 16% in 2019, with the Middle East, Europe, and North America being the country's largest export markets. Revenue expenditure forms the largest share of the UK defense budget. United Kingdom is also the second-largest NATO defense spender after the United States. In 2019, the country was one of the only eight NATO members to meet the guidelines set by NATO to spend at least 2% of national GDP on defense annually. The United Kingdom’s public sector expenditure on defense as a share of GDP in 2019 was 2.1%. In budget 2021, the government announced a budget increase of GBP 16.5 billion (USD 21.9 billion) with additional funding for developing the country’s capabilities in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, space, cyber, and the creation of sensor-laden connected hardware. Such investments are anticipated to boost the growth of the UK defense market.

United Kingdom Defense Market Growth Rate By Region

Competitive Landscape

There are several players in the market that support the defense market of the United Kingdom. The UK defense market is partly dominated by the local players and partly by the players based in the United States. The UK MoD nurtures open competition policies that seek the best defense equipment for the best value. The MoD acquires defense equipment from foreign sources when the advantages of performance, cost, and delivery schedule outweigh the benefits of buying the British alternative. Airbus SE, Lockheed Martin Corporation, BAE Systems PLC, Leonardo SpA, and Thales Group are some of the prominent players in the UK defense market, which are expected to hold a significant share even during the forecast period. BAE Systems is one of the prominent tier-1 suppliers for the F-35 program. Furthermore, BAE Systems is developing Tempest. Currently, a consortium consisting of the UK Ministry of Defense, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo SpA, and MBDA is developing the aircraft and plans to induct the aircraft from 2035, replacing Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft service in the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force (AMI). Similar partnerships for various development and procurement programs of the government are expected to help the companies increase their share in the market in the coming years.

Recent Developments

In February 2021, Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and Rheinmetall Land System awarded a contract worth GBP 180 million (USD 246.75 million) to Thales UK to manufacture and deliver PROTECTOR RS4 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) and the Acusonic Shot Detection System, the automated threat warning for the new Boxer vehicles of the British Army. The contract was awarded under the UK MOD’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) program, and Thales will deliver and integrate 500 RWS and deliver 500 Acusonic systems onto Boxer vehicles over a period of 10 years.

In November 2020, the UK Ministry of Defense announced that BAE Systems was selected to supply munitions worth USD 3.2 billion to the British military over 15 years in a single-source deal. BAE Systems will produce 39 different munitions for the armed services from five different sites across the United Kingdom for the program Next Generation Munitions Solution (NGMS). Small-arms ammunition, mortars, tank shells, medium-caliber gun rounds, and heavy artillery rounds are included in the delivery schedule, which starts by the end of 2022.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 UK Defense Import and Export

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD billion)

    1. 5.1 Armed Force

      1. 5.1.1 Army

      2. 5.1.2 Navy

      3. 5.1.3 Air Force

    2. 5.2 Type

      1. 5.2.1 Aircraft

      2. 5.2.2 Rotorcraft

      3. 5.2.3 Ground Vehicles

      4. 5.2.4 Naval Vessels

      5. 5.2.5 C4ISR

      6. 5.2.6 Weapons and Ammunition

      7. 5.2.7 Protection and Training Equipment


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 BAE Systems PLC

      2. 6.2.2 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      3. 6.2.3 Raytheon Technologies Corporation

      4. 6.2.4 Airbus SE

      5. 6.2.5 Babcock International Group PLC

      6. 6.2.6 MBDA

      7. 6.2.7 QinetiQ Group PLC

      8. 6.2.8 Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC

      9. 6.2.9 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      10. 6.2.10 L3Harris Technologies Inc.

      11. 6.2.11 The Boeing Company

      12. 6.2.12 Thales Group

      13. 6.2.13 Leonardo SpA

      14. 6.2.14 General Dynamics Corporation

      15. 6.2.15 HENSOLDT AG


**Subject to Availability

You can also purchase parts of this report. Do you want to check out a section wise price list?

Frequently Asked Questions

The United Kingdom Defense Market market is studied from 2018 - 2030.

The United Kingdom Defense Market is growing at a CAGR of >2.5% over the next 5 years.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Airbus SE, BAE Systems plc, Leonardo S.p.A. , Thales Group are the major companies operating in United Kingdom Defense Market.

80% of our clients seek made-to-order reports. How do you want us to tailor yours?

Please enter a valid email id!

Please enter a valid message!