The UK is a world leader in the supply of aerospace, defence, security and space products and services.

The sector supports around 1,000,000 jobs across the country.

The UK aerospace sector is the largest aerospace sector in Europe and is second globally only to the US.

Case Study

Developing New Technologies in Hampshire - BAE Systems 



Michelle Morley
Business Manager


Aerospace and defence

The UK is a world leader in the supply of aerospace, defence, security and space products and services. From technology and exports, to apprenticeships and investment, these sectors are vital to the UK’s growth – generating £74bn a year for the UK economy, including £41bn in exports, and supporting around 1,000,000 jobs across the country.

In Hampshire, the aerospace and defence sector supports 18,000 jobs.  Some of the leading global aerospace and defence companies are located in Hampshire include


Key Locations

London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports are just an hour away from Hampshire and the county is home to Europe's only business dedicated aviation airport at Farnborough and the international airport of Southampton.     

Farnborough is home to a huge cluster of aerospace companies, Europe’s fastest growing business airport and largest aviation trade show.

Farnborough is home to the national headquarters of the UK’s largest aerospace company BAE Systems, US firm Flight Safety International’s Flight Training Centre, Boeing’s state-of-the-art network-enabled centre for collaboration and experimentation and QinetiQ’s Cody Technology Park, Europe's largest science and technology solutions company.

Seven of the top ten global aerospace companies have a presence in the Solent region in south Hampshire including EADS, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Finmeccanica.

Defence features strongly in the south of Hampshire where Portsmouth Naval Base is home to almost two thirds of the Royal Navy’s surface ships accounting for 17,200 jobs at peak times.

The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus in south Hampshire focuses on Advanced Manufacturing specialising in the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors and offers many benefits to businesses.


Hampshire’s aerospace and defence companies are diverse and represented in a wide range of sub-sectors.  Southampton-based GE Aviation are leaders in aerostructures field, the VT Group and Lockheed Martin have expertise in defence systems and experience in unmanned air vehicles comes from Roke Manor Research based in Hampshire’s Test-Valley. Serco has a large presence throughout the county with specialism’s including homeland security, in the space field EADS Astrium supplies the majority of European military satellites, and BAA’s Southampton Airport and UK air traffic management company NATS are prominent in the airport and airline services sub-sector. 

Research excellence

Based in Farnborough, QinetiQ is Europe’s largest technology company and one of the world’s finest defence research institutions. The company’s research labs have pioneered a range of technologies including radar and liquid crystal displays, over more than six decades.

The University of Portsmouth’s  Aerospace Materials  research group specialises in applied research into fatigue and fracture of aerospace materials and components, with industrial collaborators including Rolls Royce, the US Air Force, the MOD, QinetiQ, Astrium and Westland Aerostructures.

The University of Southampton’s Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) for Computational Engineering applies modern computational tools, methods and environments to problems in aerospace engineering and related fields. The University’s Airbus Noise Technology Centre (ANTC) works towards meeting the industry's target of cutting perceived aircraft noise in half by 2020.

Industry support and networks

Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) provides a focus for over 1,200 aerospace and defence related companies located in southern England. The Consortium enables its members to become more competitive through improved marketing, sharing of best practice, access to current research and collective action.

ADS is the trade organisation for all companies operating in the UK aerospace, defence, security and space industries. Farnborough International Limited (FIL), which runs the Farnborough International Airshow, is a wholly owned subsidiary.


Europe’s largest aviation trade show, the Farnborough International Airshow, takes place biannually.