Innovation is the lifeblood of the aerospace and defence industry. As you seek the most advanced solutions to technological challenges, partner with, ForrestBrown, the market-leading R&D tax consultancy.

R&D tax relief for aerospace and defence

Aerospace and defence is a best prospect industry for the UK and leads the way for research and development intensity. In 2021, the UK defence industry turnover totalled approximately £30bn [ 1 ], the second largest in the world. As competition increases, innovative companies need best-in-class returns on R&D investment.
As airlines and passengers demand more cost-effective and environmentally friendly journeys, regulatory and operational challenges remain. Skills and materials shortages also continue to impact post-pandemic recovery, but there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of R&D in UK aerospace and defence. Historically a crown-jewel in UK exports, the industry is a global centre of excellence. This is in no small part due to the widespread demand for innovation that helps to fuel growth. There has never been a better time to work with the UK’s leading R&D tax consultancy to ensure maximum value for your investment.

Unrivalled technical firepower

Our aerospace and defence insight benefits even the most complex projects. Your ForrestBrown team comprises chartered tax advisers, engineers, developers and technical experts with direct aerospace and defence experience. Our specialists are well-equipped to help you uncover all your R&D.

Industry-leading service

By partnering with us, your aerospace and defence R&D tax relief claim will meet the highest technical standards, protecting you from risk. ForrestBrown don’t just advise on the incentive, we lead our industry. We’re members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and we work closely with HMRC to raise standards and contribute to guidance and help shape policy.

In your language

Our insight creates more robust R&D claims and saves you time. No need to simplify. You can talk to us on a peer-to-peer level. Our sector specialists speak your language.

We combine market leading R&D tax credit knowledge with real passion, enthusiasm and energy for helping innovative businesses grow.

Enquiry support and tax advisory

Speak to our team

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to accessing R&D tax advice. At ForrestBrown our team of experts adapt our tried-and-tested methodology to fit your business. Get in touch with James Dudbridge in our specialist advisory team to discuss our R&D tax consulting services.

What counts as R&D in the aerospace and defence industry

The far-reaching application of aerospace and defence technologies means the range of activities qualifying for R&D is broad.

From materials development to naval architecture, surveillance drones to innovative robotics projects, the scope for innovation is widespread and diverse.

Innovation in aerospace and defence


  • Development and testing of new equipment and vehicles
  • Innovative ground trials
  • Developing synthetic environments and simulations
  • Emerging stealth, survivability and underwater capabilities

Data and analytics

  • Systems enhancements
  • Cost and weight reductions
  • Digital model verification testing
  • Reliability assessments
  • Internally developed software solutions.
  • Enhancements to cloud-based computing integrations

Software, advanced systems, and machine learning

  • Improving smart contingency management capabilities
  • Refining of advanced information technologies
  • Innovation applications of model-based systems engineering (MBSE)
  • Trials with air traffic management AI

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  • Development of new lightweight materials
  • Advancing complex sensors
  • Increases to battery power
  • Automotive development
  • Ground station cyber security protocols
  • Analysis and testing Integration with air traffic management systems

Aerospace and defence advice tailored to you

Want to be certain that all of your aerospace and defence R&D investment is being rewarded? Arrange a consultation with Peter Beavis or a member of his sector team today to make sure you’re getting maximum value.

Peter Beavis Sector Specialist
Key contact

  • Highly experienced materials scientist 
  • Background in food science, pharma and defence. 
  • Doctorate of organic chemistry
Aerospace and defence

Why choose ForrestBrown?

We’re passionate about the transformative power of R&D tax relief for your business. Our approach is adviser-led, technology-enabled, offering a range of services to suit your goals. We help aerospace and defence companies improve the quality of their R&D claims with minimal demands on their time.

Your innovation is as unique as your business. At ForrestBrown we don’t take a one size-fits-all approach to R&D tax advice for aerospace and defence industries. We have the sector expertise to help propel your growth and fuel your ambitions.

Innovation in aerospace and defence – the value of R&D tax relief

Pioneering innovators in the aerospace and defence industry can secure significant benefit through R&D tax relief.

The demand for complex and advanced solutions to both long- and short-term challenges is increasing rapidly. Ensuring your R&D cost base is effective and strategic has never been more vital.

The preparation of R&D tax claims in-house or via low fee R&D advisers is likely costing your company too much valuable time. In-house teams may not have the specialist skillset to identify all forms of R&D that intersect projects. Likewise, a low-cost provider will take a generalist approach without the expert input of sector specialists.

In such a fast-moving and competitive sector, you need to be confident that every qualifying aspect of your R&D is being rewarded and that your claim can withstand scrutiny from HMRC.

Assembling the best team for you

Our proven combination of chartered tax advisers, accountants and industry-experienced science and technology specialists bring unmatched expertise to your business to help you secure the funding your business deserves.
Our aerospace and defence specialists’ boast unrivalled insight into R&D in the industry. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent technical tax advice in plain English to provide you with practical and actionable business outcomes tailored to your needs.

Read more about

Jenny Tragner CA ATT (Fellow)

Director & Head of Policy

Peter Beavis Sector Specialist

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Peter Beavis PhD MSci CSci CChem MRSC MIMMM

Senior Sector Specialist

James Dudbridge

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James Dudbridge LLB


Mike Harrison

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Mike Harrison BSc(Eng) ACGI MNI

Senior Sector Specialist

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Mark Andrew

Senior Tax Specialist and ex-HMRC Inspector

Robin Taylor

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Robin Taylor BEng MIED

Senior Sector Specialist

Emily Malkin

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Emily Malkin MEng

Research consultant

expert ForrestBrown team in office chairs

Speak to our expert team today

We’re passionate about helping our aerospace and defence clients access the valuable funding their innovation deserves. Speak to our team to find out more.

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