Leading defense companies will join the UK Government and the Armed Forces in Scotland to thrash out a roadmap for maximizing the defense sector’s economy-boosting impact.

The meeting comes as it was confirmed that a defense contract worth £169 million has been awarded to Thales Glasgow to build the integrated optronic combat system mast, the above water ‘eyes’ for the Royal Navy future nuclear deterrent submarine class – Dreadnought.

Every Royal Navy submarine in service since 1917 has been fitted with a Thales periscope or optronics mast manufactured at its site on the Clyde. The Dreadnought version continues this tradition, sustaining more than 150 jobs, while the whole Dreadnought program – from design through to build – will support around 30,000 jobs across the UK, contributing to the growth of the economy.

Roundtable partner ADS – the trade organization for companies in the UK aerospace, defense, security and space sectors – will also unveil new figures at today’s meeting that show Scottish businesses in these fields produced £7.3 billion in turnover, delivering £3.2 billion in value add to the economy in 2022.

The research from the trade association representing more than 1,200 members across the UK also highlighted that the sectors employed 33,500 people in Scotland, including 1,500 apprentices.

As well as ADS it will feature member companies from across the Scottish defence industry, from large companies to small and medium enterprises. These included Thales, BAE, Spirit Aerosystems, Leonardo, QinetiQ, Raytheon, Castle Precision, Glenalmond and Babcock.

Armed Forces representatives from across the three services in Scotland and Ministry of Defence representatives will also attend.

Mark Goldsack, Director Defence Security Exports, Department for Business and Trade, will present an agenda item on supporting Scottish exports.

The UK remains the second largest global defense exporter after the USA. In 2021, the value of UK security export sales was £8.22 billion, and in that same year the UK won defense orders worth £6.64 billion.