United Kingdom (UK) Defense Market Size, Trends, Budget Allocation, Regulations, Acquisitions, Competitive Landscape and Forecast to 2028

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UK Defense Market Report Overview

The United Kingdom (UK) defense budget is worth $62.8 billion in 2023. The country’s defense budget is anticipated to rise in steady and gradual annual increments, registering a CAGR of more than 4% during 2024-2028. Despite the challenges of COVID recovery, energy insecurity, and sustained inflation, British foreign policy retains ambitions and international commitments that make this sustained increase a likelihood as the British military redoubles deployments in Europe and elsewhere. Despite Brexit, the UK remains deeply tied to European and Trans-Atlantic security architecture and has increased its defense footprint in the Asia-Pacific through the AUKUS pact.

UK Defense Market Outlook, 2023-2028 ($ Billion)

UK Defense Market Outlook, 2023-2028 ($ Billion)

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The UK defense market research report provides the market size forecast and the projected growth rate for the next five years. The report covers industry analysis including the key market drivers, emerging technology trends, key sectors, and major challenges faced by market participants. It also offers insights regarding key factors and government programs that are expected to influence the demand for military platforms over the forecast period.

Market Size (2023) $62.8 Billion
CAGR (2024-2028) >4%
Forecast Period 2024-2028
Historical Period 2019-2023
Key Drivers ·        Rearmament

·        International partnerships

Key Trends ·        Modernization Of Conventional Capabilities and High-Intensity Warfare Focus

·        Uavs And Future Combat Air

Key Sectors ·        Submarines

·        Military Land Vehicles

·        Tactical Communications Systems

·        Military Radar

·        Military Simulation and Training

Leading Companies ·        BAE Systems

·        General Dynamics European Land Systems Group

·        Lockheed Martin Corp

·        Harland & Wolff

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UK Defense Market Dynamics

Rearmament and international partnerships are the key factors driving the UK’s defense market. For instance, in 2020, the UK government initiated a defense review period that promised the most substantial changes to the UK armed forces since the end of the Cold War. This process has been altered and matured since Russia’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has further driven new British priorities in force readiness, platform acquisition, and technological research.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a renewed focus on the modernization of conventional capabilities and high-intensity warfare. Additionally, the UK has invested heavily over the last two years in several experimental UAV types across the Army, Navy, and Air Force to explore their future applications. Being less expensive than manned aircraft, drones can be produced at scale for a smaller cost to provide a significant force multiplier, especially as advances in technology allow for better integration and cooperation with manned platforms. Some examples include Project Vampire, an ISR drone jet for the Royal Navy, Project Vixen, a manned-unmanned teaming program to accompany the Navy’s F-35 jets, Project Proteus, which explores an unmanned antisubmarine helicopter, and the ‘Peregrine’ unmanned reconnaissance rotorcraft.

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UK Military Doctrines and Defense Strategies

The armed forces’ primary aim is to safeguard all UK citizens and protect economic security, territorial integrity, critical infrastructure, and the British way of life. The national interests that the UK aims to protect are security, prosperity, and freedom. The UK Defense Doctrine Strategy states that “we must shape the global environment”. The UK stringently follows the NATO doctrine and is a key member of the organization.

The UK is creating a comprehensive military space strategy. The vision of which is to ensure ‘‘freedom of action’’ in space, by making sure that the UK has the capabilities to protect and defend its interests in space. There is discussion over whether the UK needs its version of the GNSS Galileo, which was created by the EU. Support for this endeavor exists at the highest level, with Boris Johnson stating that the UK should develop its own. A significant amount will be invested by the UK government to create its constellation of satellites. In November 2020, it was announced that the UK would create a Space Command, which would aim to launch the first rocket from Scotland in 2022.

UK Defense Market Segmentation by Sectors

The key sectors in the UK defense market are submarines, military land vehicles, tactical communications systems, military radar, and military simulation and training, among others. In 2023, the most attractive sector in the UK’s defense market is submarines. It is followed by the military fixed wing.

Three programs constitute the submarine sector. One of the programs is the Dreadnought program to replace the Royal Navy’s current Vanguard-class submarines is the largest, given priority as it provides the UK’s continuous at-sea deterrent.

UK Defense Market Analysis by Sectors, 2023 (%)

UK Defense Market Analysis by Sectors, 2023 (%)

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UK Defense Market - Competitive Landscape

Some of the leading defense companies operating in the UK are BAE Systems, General Dynamics European Land Systems Group, Lockheed Martin Corp, and Harland & Wolff among others. BAE Systems is the primary supplier for the Dreadnought program, responsible for the design and construction of the submarines. However, a program of this scale requires collaboration and contributions from other suppliers.

UK Defense Market Analysis by Companies

UK Defense Market Analysis by Companies

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Segments Covered in the Report

UK Defense Market Sectors Outlook (Value, $ Billion, 2019-2028)

  • Submarines
  • Military Land Vehicles
  • Tactical Communications Systems
  • Military Radar
  • Military Simulation and Training


The report provides:

  • Detailed analysis of the UK 2022 defense budget broken down into market size and market share. This is coupled with an examination of key current and future acquisitions.
  • Explanation of the procurement policy and process. This is coupled with an analysis of the UK’s military doctrine and strategy to provide a comprehensive overview of the UK’s military regulation.
  • Examination of political alliances and perceived security threats to the UK and explains trends in spending and modernization.
  • Analysis of prevalent trends in the country’s imports and exports over the last five years.
  • Analysis of the competitive landscape of the UK’s defense industry.

Key Highlights

• Drivers of Defense expenditure include the war in Ukraine, significant tensions with Russia, commitments to the NATO alliance and ongoing contributions to international peacekeeping and stability operations via the UN and EU.

• Major ongoing procurement programs include the acquisition of F-35B fighters, new ballistic missile submarines, an array of combat and support naval surface vessels, and the Global Combat Air Programme.

Reasons to Buy

  • Determine prospective investment areas based on a detailed trend analysis of the UK defense market over the next five years.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the underlying factors driving demand for different defense and internal security segments in the UK market and identify the opportunities offered.
  • Strengthen your understanding of the market in terms of demand drivers, market trends, and the latest technological developments, among others.
  • Identify the major threats that are driving the UK defense market providing a clear picture of future opportunities that can be tapped, resulting in revenue expansion.
  • Channel resources by focusing on the ongoing programs that are being undertaken by the UK government.
  • Make correct business decisions based on an in-depth analysis of the competitive landscape consisting of detailed profiles of the top defense equipment providers in the country. The company profiles also include information about the key products, alliances, recent contracts awarded, and financial analysis, wherever available.

Lockheed Martin
BAE Systems
General Atomics
Leonardo SpA
General Dynamics Land Systems

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Defense Budget Assessment

    • 2.1. Budgeting Process
    • 2.2. Defense Market Size Historic And Forecast
    • 2.3. Drivers Of Defense Expenditure
    • 2.4. Analysis of Defense Expenditure Allocation
    • 2.5. Analysis Of Defense Budget Allocation
    • 2.6. Key Market Trends and Insights

  • 3. Military Doctrine and Security Environment

    • 3.1. Military Doctrine And Strategy
    • 3.2. Strategic Alliances and Geopolitics
    • 3.3. Political, Social and Economic Scenario

  • 4. Market Entry Strategy and Regulations

    • 4.1. Defense Procurement Bodies
    • 4.2. Funding Opportunities
    • 4.3. Trade Associations and Defense Clusters
    • 4.4. Types of Contracts and Opportunities
    • 4.5. Procurement Policy and Market Regulations
    • 4.6. Market Entry Routes
    • 4.7. Key Challenges
    • 4.8. Major Deals and M&A

  • 5. Market Attractiveness and Emerging Opportunities

    • 5.1. Market Attractiveness By Defense Sector
    • 5.2. Top Sectors in the Italian Defense Market
    • 5.3. Top Defense Segments By Value

  • 6. Defense Platform Acquisitions

    • 6.1. Defense Platform Acquisitions By Value
    • 6.2. Dreadnought-Class
    • 6.3. Global Combat Air Programme
    • 6.4. F-35B
    • 6.5. Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme
    • 6.6. Type 83 Destroyer
    • 6.7. Multi-Role Support Ships
    • 6.8. SSN – AUKUS
    • 6.9. Ajax
    • 6.10. Fleet Solid Support
    • 6.11. Uncrewed Helicopter
    • 6.12. A400M Atlas
    • 6.13. CH-47ER Chinook

  • 7. Fleet Size
  • 8. Competitive Landscape

    • 8.1. Defense Companies
    • 8.2. Main Defense Companies

  • 9. Appendix

    • 9.1. About This Report
    • 9.2. About Us
    • 9.3. Contact Us

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