What is the Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation (DIT DSO)

The Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation (DIT DSO) is an integral part of DIT and works closely both with industry and the MOD, Home Office and Other Government Departments to promote the export of UK defence and security equipment, products and services in the best possible way.

What is the Role of the DIT DSO?

DIT DSO supports the UK defence, security and cyber security sectors by:

  1. Identifying business opportunities in conjunction with MOD and industry at an early stage.
  2. Building relationships with overseas governments – the core customers for UK defence products and services – to maximise UK prospects in established and emerging markets.
  3. Providing overseas customers and UK defence and security companies with access to the MOD, the Armed Forces and wider government specialist support.
  4. Supporting specific industry-led overseas marketing campaigns.
  5. Promoting UK industry as a trusted supplier at all levels of the supply network.
  6. Providing a conduit through which UK advice and expertise can be offered to overseas customers.

Organisation of DIT DSO

The DIT DSO is organised as follows:

  • Two DIT DSO Regional Directorates (RDs) offer assistance and advice on specific markets and opportunities with respect to both defence and security, co-ordinate government support and provide a single point of contact for customer countries:
    • RD1 – Americas, Pacific and East Asia; and
    • RD2 – Africa, Europe, Middle East, Central and South Asia.
  • The Operations Directorate comprises a number of teams working in the following areas:
    • Analysis of the global defence and security markets.
    • Government to Government and Defence Growth Partnership initiatives.
    • Co-ordination of participation in UK and overseas defence and security exhibitions.
    • Military-led Export Support Team.
  • The Small Business Unit, an integral part of the DSO Events Team, specialises in dedicated support for SME companies that are looking to win defence and security business overseas.
  • Key Account Management (KAM) & High Growth Potential (HGP) Companies Teams:
    • The KAM Secretariat has a formal relationship with 16 UK defence and security prime contractors. KAM Sec provides DSO with an overview of the companies’ strategic intentions in the export market which allows DSO to allocate its resources accordingly, as well as proving a forum to discuss additional strategic issues such as the Defence Growth Partnership and Government-to-Government engagement.
    • DIT DSO’s HGP advisers have developed an engagement model to help identify, develop and establish relationships with companies that are new to DSO and have defence export potential, mainly focusing on Medium Size Businesses (MSBs – companies that fall between the SME/KAM categories), but also other larger firms with defence divisions and some exceptionally promising smaller firms.


Doing Business with Defence Handbook. Edition 24 (2018).


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