Jamie Stitt

Assistant Commissioner, Business and Workforce Development

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., Nashville, TN 37243
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Aerospace and Defense

Major Research. Legendary Craftsmanship.

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.

Tennessee’s cutting-edge facilities and superior workforce have been a boon to the aerospace and defense sectors for more than half a century.

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 and defense cluster includes 110+ establishments, anchored by the world-renowned U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), the nation’s largest aerospace ground flight simulation complex. Tennessee’s crown jewel, the AEDC has tested virtually every Department of Defense high-performance aircraft and missile system.

The AEDC operates 60+ aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels on its 40,000-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. The complex’s test units have capabilities unmatched in the United States, with some unique to the world.

Some of the world’s top aerospace and defense companies operate facilities in Tennessee, including Triumph Aerostructures, 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. In 2021, Smith & Wesson announced plans to relocate its headquarters and significant portions of its operations to Maryville with a $124 million investment, which will result in 750 new jobs.

Tennessee-based companies exported $118.5 million in arms and ammunition over the last five years. Aerospace products and parts exported more than $934.6 million in 2022. Tennessee ranks second in the Southeast in exports of sport shotguns and rifles. Since 2017, The state’s $56.7 million in exports for this sector accounted for 25 percent of total Southeast exports and 6 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.

Quick Facts


Tennesseans employed by aerospace & defense establishments

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Aerospace & defense establishments in Tennessee

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Million in arms and ammunition exported annually

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Billion aerospace products and parts exported annually

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#2 In the Southeast for shotgun and rifle exports

Barrett – Remastered


U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex

Micro Craft Inc.

Cirrus Aircraft


the company we keep

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Aerospace and Defense Employment by County