Global Insider: For U.K., Defense Remains Key Industry as Strategy Shifts

The British government approved arms sales to Bahrain last year, despite ongoing unrest in the Persian Gulf state. In an email interview, John Louth, deputy head of the defense industries and society program at the Royal United Services Institute, discussed the U.K. defense industry.

WPR: What is the current size and scope of the British defense industry, and how has it evolved in the past decade?

John Louth: The U.K. defense market represents between about 1 percent and 2 percent of U.K. GDP annually, with the government spending about $28 billion each year on defense equipment and services from the industrial base. In addition, the industry exports about $19 billion worth of defense and security equipment and services per annum. Funds are also spent on research and development and specialist components from niche supply chains, but these values are harder to quantify.

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