Working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), academic institutions, industry bodies and other primes, we believe supplier diversity supports our vision for delivering game-changing technologies to secure our futures and meet our customers’ needs.

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years manufacturing in the UK
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RTX spend on R&D
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RTX facilities across the UK

Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

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RTX currently partners with over 4,000 UK suppliers over multi-year programmes.

We strongly believe in our responsibility to enhance and grow SMEs and continue to support activities in alignment with the Ministry of Defence SME Action Plan. We have ambitious goals to grow our relationships with this innovative and agile community through our SME Champions and each of our businesses, and to make it even easier to do business with us. We have therefore provided additional insights on what we do, and will continue to do, to support SMEs - and how SMEs are able to work with us.

SME Supplier FAQs

We simplified our onboarding process to ensure our supplier questionnaires are more focused, simpler to complete and open to all suppliers, no matter their business size. More information on the process we follow is contained below:

SME Events

We have a long-standing relationship with many industry bodies and trade associations - such as MakeUK Defence, techUK and ADS - and work closely with them to help identify potential SMEs with the right skills and expertise.

We recognise that the UK SME domestic Aerospace and Defence base is flourishing and therefore we support ‘Meet The Buyer’ events where there are specific opportunities and requirements that we believe are best met by those companies that have the depth of knowledge, and cutting edge solutions, to support our customers' needs.

Our Supply Chain teams are regularly at major industry events where they meet with existing and prospective partners.

Supporting our SME partners

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On average 25%+ of our annual material spend is with SMEs

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7 days

We aim to provide accelerated payments (target within 7 days from receipt of a valid invoice) to SMEs
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We place orders with 600+ SMEs each year
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We continue to exceed 95%+ of invoices being paid within 60 days
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We conduct regular reviews of multiple KPIs to monitor SME activities, including levelling-up area spend
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We've made adjustments to our approved vendor list to more easily identify SMEs and levelling-up category areas


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Small to medium-sized enterprise Partnerships Advancing Raytheon Knowledge.

Established in 2015, SpaRk supports innovative technology ideas from UK-based small to medium-sized enterprises, known as SMEs, and UK academic institutions.

SMEs and academia are vital to the country’s economy and key to extending Raytheon UK’s research and development supply chain. Through SpaRk, we offer financial assistance and mentoring, as well as access to our customers and markets, engineering expertise and networking opportunities.

Social Value

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We look to our partners to help support our social value strategy. We actively strive to bring employment to regions across the country, including support for entrepreneurs and new SME start-ups.

Our partnering strategy supports sustainability through the entire lifecycle of our product and service offering and lifts the communities in which we operate. As our business continues to grow, we look forward to offering further exciting long-term opportunities to existing and new partners.

Universities and Colleges

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We have active working relationships with universities and colleagues across the country supporting R&D. Those research activities include Navigation, Power Systems, Radar, airborne and space technology, AI and Machine learning.

See the full list below:

Approved Vendor List (AVL)

While we currently have a well-established AVL, we actively encourage our buyers to identify alternative sources of supply to support new development and production, in order to build further resilience into our supply chain and leverage the technological capabilities of UK SMEs. These sectors include solutions for:

- Cyber defence and resources (DV-cleared) - Advanced engineering - Optical design and manufacturing  - Land & sea platform integration capability 
- Land and naval radars - High speed datalinks - Software - code development/ engineering capabilities - MilSatCom (Military Satellite Communications)
- SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) - Military PED (Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination) - Geographic, meteorology and oceanographic intelligence - Innovative defence related training systems and/or solutions
- Advanced data analytics - Digital engineering transfer into manufacture - Through-life monitoring - Novel antenna and metamaterial

If you believe your organisation has a solution or capability in one of these areas, please contact us at [email protected] and provide the following:

  • A brief summary of your organisation
  • The unique skills and capabilities that differentiate your products and/ or services from the competition
  • Product/ service brochures
  • Primary point of contact
  • JOSCAR registration number (if available)
  • Recognition of requirement to comply with the RTX Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Your support and commitment to our Raytheon UK DE&I Supplier Charter

Responses will be assessed and, if there is an opportunity that we believe your organisation could meet, we will be in contact. All complete submittals will be stored for future reference and made available to our Business Development, Supply Chain and Engineering teams to minimise duplication of effort.

Fit for Defence

Suppliers wishing to expand into the defence market should be prepared for additional requirements and levels of governance in order to be ‘Fit For Defence’. Therefore, suppliers should consider the following enhancements and likely requirements to prepare for contracting with major primes in the UK:

  • Cyber Essentials certification
  • DEFCON and FAR/ DFAR compliance
  • JOSCAR membership/ SME registration (see links below to our JOSCAR introduction and brochure)
  • Applicable ISO standards
  • NET Zero Strategy/ ISO14001
  • Understanding of the UK Government's social value requirements and expectations

This is not an exhaustive list and may adjust depending upon product, service and customer requirements. We recognise that working with new Industry and Government requirements brings additional complexities and are therefore willing to provide additional resources to support the readiness of our SMEs and partners in this sector.

Useful links

Interested in finding out more about how to become a Raytheon UK supplier?

Our information, terms and conditions are available to download below:

Invested in the UK

We are one of the UK’s global manufacturing exporters, with most of our manufacturing output being exported overseas. Through our sites and our manufacturing capabilities, Raytheon UK and RTX contributes over £2.6 billion a year to the UK’s economy.

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