- Research & Data
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 70+ 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 60+ 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 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 $25 million in arms and ammunition in 2020. Aerospace products and parts exported more than $880 million in 2020. Tennessee also leads the Southeast in exports of sport shotguns and rifles. The state’s $7.3 million in exports for this sector accounted for 28 percent of total Southeast exports and 7 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.
Tennesseans employed by aerospace & defense establishments
Aerospace & defense establishments in Tennessee
Million in arms and ammunition exports in 2020
Million aerospace products and parts exported annually