Armaments Firms, the State Procurement System, and the Naval Industrial Complex in Edwardian Britain

  • Roger Lloyd-Jones Sheffield Hallam University
  • Myrddin John Lewis Sheffield Hallam University


This article examines the relationship between Britain’s armament firms and the state’s procurement system, presenting a case for a Naval Industrial Complex (NIC) in the years immediately before the Great War. It argues that in Edwardian Britain a nuanced set of institutional networks were established between the Admiralty and a small elite group of armament manufacturers. The NIC demonstrates the close collaboration between the armament firms supplying the Admiralty and between the Admiralty and an elite group of private contractors. This article concludes that the NIC did not lead to profiteering by contactors, and they did supply the warships and naval ordnance that enabled Britain to out build Germany in the naval race.