The review will identify how the government can take a more strategic approach to ensure competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries. It will also suggest how defence in particular might better drive investment and prosperity across the UK.
The Ministry of Defence will lead a cross-government team, engaging closely with industry, Parliament, and other stakeholders over the course of the review. The findings will feed into the broader Integrated review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development that the government is currently conducting.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Our relationship with industry is crucial to maintaining the UK’s position as a Tier 1 military power. The review will ensure we are in the best position to support industry whilst guaranteeing the most advanced, world-leading capabilities for our armed forces.”
Many of the UK’s defence and security companies are going from strength to strength, but there are a range of challenges for the future. The review will examine the way industry is being impacted by the pace of technological change, the need for innovation and partnership, and increased competition from abroad, alongside the difficulty of ensuring that we have the necessary skills. The review will then consider how these challenges are addressed and how the government can maximise potential opportunities.
The defence and security industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, including thousands of apprentices, across the UK. From building warships in Scotland and armoured vehicles in Wales, to manufacturing aircraft in England and satellites in Northern Ireland. The MOD invested £19.2-billion into industry, commerce and employment in the last year.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “The UK defence and security industries play a crucial role in maintaining our global influence and relationships with allies, as well as supporting employment and economic growth across the country.
“The review will explore the role of the defence and security sectors in ensuring that we have the right capabilities for safeguarding our national security whilst driving prosperity and innovation across all parts of the United Kingdom.”
Our industries are also at the forefront of technology development in creating new ways to prevent and defend against terrorism and serious organised crime. On the international stage, UK defence and security companies play a crucial role in maintaining the UK’s global influence, underpinning our strategic partnerships with key allies.
The analysis undertaken as part of the review will inform findings of the broader Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy which will be taking place in parallel.