Aerospace & Defense

In Tennessee, you can take advantage of the same cutting-edge facilities that NASA, the Department of Defense and the entire aerospace sector have relied on for more than 50 years.

The Tennessee aerospace sector has the perfect combination of major research assets, capital investment, advanced manufacturing strength, educational support and skilled workforce to help your company fly higher.

Tennessee’s aerospace cluster includes 52 companies, anchored by the world-renowned U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), the largest flight simulation facility in the world. Tennessee’s crown jewel, the AEDC has tested virtually every Department of Defense high-performance aircraft and missile system.

The AEDC operates 55 aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels on its 4,000-acre complex in Tullahoma, as well as highly advanced rocket and turbine engine test cells, space environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges and other specialized units. AEDC operates the most advanced and largest complex of flight simulation test facilities in the world.  The complex includes 27 test units with capabilities unavailable anywhere else in the U.S.; 14 of them are unique in the world.

Some of the world’s top aerospace and defense companies operate facilities in Tennessee, including Vought Industries, Beretta USA, Eaton Corp., Standard Aero Alliance, Honeywell, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, BAE Systems Ordinance and Bell Helicopters, with more on the way.

In 2016, Beretta USA opened a new manufacturing facility in Gallatin, with 300 new jobs and a $45 million investment.  SCCY Firearms plans to invest $22.5 million in a Maryville facility that will create 356 new jobs. 

Tennessee-based companies have exported $365.6 million in arms and ammunition since Governor Haslam assumed office in 2011. Aerospace products and parts exports grew to more than $1.59 billion in 2017. Tennessee also leads the nation in exports of sport shotguns and rifles. The state’s $17.4 million in exports for this sector accounted for 40 percent of total Southeast exports and 13 percent of all sport shotguns and rifles nationwide.

Tennessee’s commitment to the industry extends to education, with widely respected programs in the Middle Tennessee State University Department of Aerospace and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. The result is a deep pool of qualified candidates for your business.

Let this combination of assets and knowledge help your ideas take flight.

$365.6 million

in arms and ammunition exports since 2011.

Micro Craft Inc.
Micro Craft, Inc.

$1.59 billion

aerospace products and parts exported annually.


aerospace & defense employees in Tennessee.

Barrett Firearms Manufacturing


in the nation for shotgun and rifle exports.

U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex

Featured Aerospace & Defense News

Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. The University of Tennessee Space Institute Military Systems Group MIcro Craft Kilgore GE Commercial Aviation Services Delfasco Bell Helicopter Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Arnold Engineering Development Complex Aeronautical Accessories Beretta