Defence and Security sector in Canada

Canada is undergoing planned investments of $490B over 20 years into the defence and security sector. The UK and Canada share a unique Five Eyes, historical, cultural, and commercial relationship.

Market overview

As Five Eyes nations, the UK and Canada enjoy a distinctive relationship in the defence and security sector. This is strengthened, as members of the Commonwealth, NATO, the G7 and G8.

Canada’s defence and security market is valued at nearly $8B – based on government expenditures, and $13B – based on industry revenues. The defence and security sector employs 110,000 people and hosts some 2,000 firms. The sector has an approximate $4.5B trade surplus, from which $2B was imported from government entities. The UK is the second most important market for Canadian defence products and services, and Canada’s most important commercial and economic partner in Europe. Furthermore, the relationship is not restricted by International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

The defence and security sector in Canada is maturing and UK companies will face challenges with government procurement practices. However, if a UK company has a product or service currently used by the MOD or security entities; Canada may be a potential market. [named data: pull quote]

Canada’s defence and security market is valued at nearly $8B – based on government expenditures, and $13B – based on industry revenues.

Key opportunities

There are several key projects and opportunities in Canada’s defence and security sector:

  • Air Capability Upgrades and Replacements

  • Armoured Personnel Carriers and Support Vehicles

  • Border and Ports Control Systems

  • Canadian Cryptographic Modernisation

  • First Responders’ Equipment

  • National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

  • Unmanned Surveillance Systems

Latest export opportunities – Defence & Security

Latest export opportunities – Canada

Getting into the market

Various routes are available to British companies seeking access to the sector:

  • Supplying directly to customers/end-users.

  • In-market representation through intermediaries such as distributors, agents and representatives.

  • Leveraging existing UK relationships.

  • Partnerships/strategic alliances.

  • Establishing a local presence.

More about doing business in Canada


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Brendan Mc Manus, British High Commission Canada. Tel: +1 613 364 6150 or email: [email protected].

Contact your local international trade team


UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

DEFSEC Atlantic 2013

September 4th to 6th, 2013

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canadian Aerospace Summit

October 16th to 17th

Ottawa, Ontario

Latest events – Defence & Security

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Defence & Security
Countries: Canada
Export Action Plan