The number of direct employees in Scotland's defence sector expanded by nearly a third between 2020 and 2022, according to new industry figures.

The increase in headcount was contained within the latest industry report from ADS Scotland - the trade body representing the country's aerospace, defence, naval and security sectors - which showed that the combined turnover of these industries reached £7 billion last year. They are estimated to have contributed £3.2bn in value add to the Scottish economy in 2022.

ADS sectors directly employ 33,500 in Scotland, including 1,500 apprentices. Defence saw the biggest percentage growth in headcount since the last survey in 2020, with the number of direct employees up by more than 3,000 to 13,250.

The number of direct employees in the Scottish space sector grew by 500, or approximately 11%, to 8,500. Security employed 8,750, and aerospace 4,500.

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Turnover in Scotland's defence sector grew by approximately £100 million during that period to £2bn, while the space sector increased by £200m to £3.1bn. The security sector's turnover was £1.4bn, and that of earospace was £1.1bn.

“ADS members in Scotland are recognised internationally for their contribution to the global sectors ADS represents," ADS Scotland director Warrick Malcolm said. "In the coming years, it is essential Scotland’s growth continues, securing the UK’s world-leading position in rapidly advancing sectors, such as space.”

Welcoming the figures, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "It's clear that Scottish skills, expertise and innovation make an enormous contribution to the UK's defence, security, aerospace and space sectors.

"The UK Government is committed to growing our economy, including by working with these industries to support their success in the UK and in exporting overseas. Defence plays a crucial part in the security of the United Kingdom and also contributes significantly to delivering high-skilled jobs and investment in Scotland."